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Elder Care Spotlight: What To Consider When Becoming A Caregiver For the Elderly...

Being a caregiver for the elderly is one of the most rewarding, Loving, and blessed experiences. Whether it is one's parents, a family member, a friend, or a paid client, there are some things to think about and work out in order to feel balanced and at peace with the experience.

There are facilities in most every town that serve to care for the elderly. Private homes with registered nurses also exist in order to help serve all of the people in need. But when you, as a regular person with a family and a job, decides to become a caregiver, many things have to shift in order to make it possible.

Caregiving is physically challenging. Lifting up and down, bathing, dressing, medicating, treating, driving, and assisting in various ways can be taxing on the body. It takes physical strength, but it also takes great mental strength. Aging doesn't always bring out the best aspects of the personality. There can be frustration, anger, agitation, sorrow, depression, and even anxiety coming from the elderly person that the caregiver is not prepared to handle. It takes patience, compassion, and understanding. The elderly person becomes the top priority, and their needs can shift an entire schedule in a day, a week, or an even longer period of time, so this needs to be considered when creating a schedule. Flexibility is key! There are emergency medical needs, doctors appointments, and other appointments (hair, nails, etc.) that the caregiver drives them to. The caregiver has to be attentive, observing the elderly to see if there are shifts in their behavior, how they act, and how their health seems to be.

There are many resources available to support you as a caregive, and if you qualify, there are even financial resources to tap into. Caregiving is obviously not about the money when it comes to family or someone very close. There may be paid positions in the world, but most caregivers do it out of the Love of their hearts. This also needs to be considered when it comes to paying bills and buying supplies and groceries. Special diets, medical equipment, personal care, and even special house adjustments are also important to consider. As the caregiver, it is most important to take time each day to exercise, eat, rest, and have down time. It is easy to start living life for the elderly and forget one's own life, but this is the worst thing one can do. Optimally, the balance between caregiving and living is vital in order to not become resentful, agitated, or negative with the elderly. When one can create more balance, then everyone wins.

All in all, being a caregiver is an act of pure Love that blesses all involved. It is a lot of work, but worth every minute. Most importantly, it should be entered with the understanding that there will be challenges. Taking time to make this decision is key. Never rush into a caregiving role, and always follow the heart to know what is best for all involved. The caregiver will be happy to be living a life they are choosing to live, and the elderly will feel wanted, cared for, and Loved. This is not for everyone, but when it's a good match - it is made in Heaven!

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