Mary Kay Buysse, NASMM Executive Director
As a caregiver, you probably spend more time than you care to admit on the telephone, talking—or trying to talk—to your loved one's doctor, insurer, and pharmacist among others. More often than not, you have to navigate a complicated series of menus and spend an inordinate amount of time on hold to reach someone who may or may not have the information you need. At the end of half an hour, you can find yourself with very little to show for your efforts.
Sunrise Senior Living
Here's a safe generalization: only people anticipating a refund look forward to filing their income tax returns. For many of the rest of us, tax season frequently entails a tedious afternoon with calculator in hand, squinting at piles of receipts and 1099s and puzzling over tax regulations. If that weren't enough, many caregivers have the extra responsibility of helping their loved one file their return.
As a caregiver, you probably spend more time than you care to admit on the telephone, talking—or trying to talk—to your loved one’s doctor, insurer, and pharmacist among others. More often than not, you have to navigate a complicated series of menus and spend an inordinate amount of time on hold to reach someone who may or may not have the information you need. At the end of half an hour, you can find yourself with very little to show for your efforts.
After the excitement of the holidays, it's only natural to feel a bit blue. The shorter days, which in many parts of the country are also cold and overcast, compound the feeling. But there's a difference between being down in the dumps, which everyone feels on occasion, and being depressed. Since studies have shown that caregivers run a higher risk of depression than the general population, it's a good idea for caregivers to take stock of their emotional state from time to time. The Family Caregiver Alliance estimates that 20 percent of family caregivers suffer from depression.
We’re going through a sticky patch in hospital care. Patients and their loved ones often feel that there are too many doctors (and you rarely see the same one twice) and too few nurses (and it’s hard to get their attention). Worse: it’s hard to figure out just who is in charge -- or whether anyone is. Here’s why:
We've all heard about the power of positive thinking, which is real easy to do when things are going well—but quite another when everything is hitting the fan. When I was going through the worst time of my life caring for my sweet but ailing mother and challenging elderly father, I remember people telling me that I had to remain positive. It made me pretty angry, because it was so easy for them to say, a monumental task to do, and I really wanted them to be in my shoes and try it!
Eldercare is becoming a prominent aspect of many Baby Boomers' lives as they get thrust into the role of "caregiver" for an ailing parent--often after a crisis. But first-time caregivers are typically unprepared for the tremendous physical, emotional and financial challenges and often become overwhelmed trying to find the right doctors, diagnoses and treatments--as their own lives go on interminable hold. I have lived this nightmare and can attest to how difficult it is.
What You Should Know
by Frank Morris
Retirement Housing and Aged Care - Q&A Forum
The great family conflict arises when our parents become our dependents.
"It's tough for both parties," says a leading psychologist.