Tips & Education

Tips for Family Caregivers of Seniors

July 10th, 2023

CRISTA Senior Living Blog- Family Caregivers

Family caregivers fill an essential role in our world. As parents grow older, there comes a time when they need some extra help. To begin, that may be as simple as providing a ride to the doctor or taking them grocery shopping. Then it may progress to helping with chores around the house. And finally, there comes a day when they need to stop living alone.

Family caregivers often want their mom or dad to live with them. This works well if family members work together to share the caregiving responsibilities. The following is a list of considerations when caring for an elderly relative. (To keep it simple, we will refer to the person you are caring for as Mom.)

  • Communication and collaboration are crucial in caregiving. Learn how to hold a family meeting. Discuss caregiving responsibilities, share information, and make sure everyone is on the same page.
  • Choose a Primary Caregiver: This is the time to determine who has the room for Mom to live with them, the time to take care of her, and who wants to carry the bulk of the responsibility. If no one is in this position, it’s time to consider other alternatives. If someone wants to take care of Mom, they may be eligible to be paid, which often makes it possible.
  • Get on Board as a Family to Help: No matter how qualified and enthusiastic someone is about taking care of Mom, caregiving is exhausting work! Set up a calendar for every family member to take care of Mom each week. The primary caregiver should determine at least two evenings a week that she wants to be free. In addition, share weekend time with Mom between all of you.
  • Temporary Respite from Caregiving: Respite Care is a great way to make sure Mom is engaged in a vibrant community and well taken care of when you want a weekend or longer time away. Find out more about respite care at CRISTA Senior Living in Shoreline, WA, and Crista Shores Silverdale, WA.

Family Caregivers

  • Set up a daily schedule for Mom and post it on the refrigerator so everyone in the family knows what she needs and can meet those needs without having to ask and remember details. You can find a schedule to download here.
  • Adult Day Care and Other Community Programs: Look into Adult Day Care and Senior Center programs near your home so Mom can get out into the community and enjoy her peers while you take a break.
  • Finances: Consider the medical bills and other expenses, even when the primary caregiver receives financial compensation Look into resources and strategies to manage the financial aspects of caregiving, including budgeting, insurance, and exploring financial assistance programs.
  • Health: Caring for a senior’s health is vital to caregiving. Get to know Mom’s primary care provider and know the details of what she needs on a day-to-day basis. If she takes medication, purchase a pill case to track what and when she takes it. If she needs injections, learn how to give them. Make sure she eats a healthy diet and sleeps well, and if possible, take a walk daily.
  • Taxes: Check with your CPA to understand the tax implications of being a family caregiver, including potential deductions and credits available for certain caregiving expenses.
  • Legal Issues: Work with an attorney to set up power of attorney, healthcare proxies, advance directives, and guardianship. With these in place, you’ll be ready to provide what Mom needs.
  • Assistive Technology Devices: Technology can reduce your stress as a caregiver. If Mom can stay home by herself for short periods of time and has a Medical Alert necklace, you won’t need to worry about making a quick trip to the grocery store by yourself. Find out about the best Medical Alert Necklaces available here.
  • Caring for the Caregiver: Self-care is essential for family caregivers to avoid burnout. If family members take on the responsibilities of finances, insurance, health appointments, transportation, taxes, and even meals occasionally, it makes a big difference.

By utilizing the resources and tips here, family caregivers can find support, navigate challenges, and ensure the well-being of their loved ones. Seek support, practice self-care, and reach out for help when needed.

CRISTA Senior Living has been taking care of seniors for almost 75 years! Contact us for more information and to take a tour of our beautiful communities in Shoreline and Silverdale.

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I would like to commend Cristwood Park staff on their efforts to protect themselves and their residents from COVID. It’s been a concern of ours since last March and we have been relieved to see so few cases in the Cristwood Park community. I would like to thank the staff and leadership for their diligence in maintaining good protocols throughout this pandemic.

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Exceptional personalized holistic care. Helps keep Mom’s mind active and she flourishes with the nurturing care. Especially of value currently given the COVID restrictions. We are genuinely pleased with our mom's care.

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Thinking back on all the great care you and your team have given her at CRISTA, we thank you for all that. I am sure it made a difference in the quality of her life.

I appreciate the personal relationship I have with the staff and the good communication they give me.

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