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This is a sad situation, and I hope Charlotte's physician or a social worker was able to intervene and help strike a balance between rehabilitation and making Charlotte's last years comfortable. There is another situation that can take a great toll on caregiving children: breaking up the parental home. One of the greatest gifts aging parents can give to their children is moving to smaller quarters, distributing much of their possessions, and discarding the junk.

Viewer Responses

The need to promptly sell a house to raise money for long-term care puts a great strain on all involved and can be a cause of disagreements. I want to thank you VERY much for the program on caregiving. At present my husband has had Dementia for about 3 years. I have had 27 years of nurse aide work so that has helped some.

I am gathering all the information I can as I want to keep him home as long as I can. Thank you Thank you Thank you. I'm buying a gun. No, seriously, I won't go though the trauma that was described on last night's program. I'm 67 and have told my kids that under no circumstances will I be a burden to them.

If I get to the point where my mind and body have deteriorated to the extent that I have to be entombed in a nursing home, then I will exit this earth as soon as I get that diagnosis. We can put animals "to sleep" when they get old and are suffering. We HAVE to address this problem. Us old coots are going to bleed this country dry!!! And I will NOT be part of that.

What Stress are You Feeling as a Caregiver?

Your next program should be how be can END our lives willingly, when the prognosis is simply custodial care. I see expensive operations given to old people--after 80, we should have to live with whatever parts we have or don't have!


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Sign me, "Exit, stage right. I watched this show last night and thought it was fantastic! I could relate to something from each one the person's story's, it was an incredible feeling.

caring for elderly parents - Carers UK Forum

I think it's important for people to understand what we go through and that we do it out of love. Yes there were times where it was hard but there were more times where we would laugh. I wouldn't have traded it for anything. My mother and I were close before she needed my help but we grew even closer as I cared for her. This closeness that we had is easing the pain I now feel. I know that I did everything I could to help her and was able to keep her at home out and of a nursing home. I miss her dearly. I thought "Caring for Your Parents" was well done and it gave me a lot of food for thought.

A couple things about it bothered me. One was that it focused mostly on adult children who were intensely involved in their parents' care and I think that gives the impression that that's what we all should do. I'm my mom's main "caregiver", though she lives in an assisted living place and they really provide most of the care person power.

How to Relieve the Stress of Caring for an Aging Parent: Amy O'Rourke at TEDxOrlando

We don't all have the mental, physical, emotional, and financial reserves that the show's characters had, and I think that's just reality, not that we're bad people. Another thing, the show seemed to portray that it was much, much more desirable for these very frail parents to live at home, as if nursing homes are the last resort. I think nowadays many AL and nursing home places do a good job and they offer us adult children an important service of knowing our loved ones are in a safe place with skilled medical staff and some fun activities, and we children can still lead a somewhat normal life and not worry that our parent is home alone and perhaps has fallen or the private aid hasn't shown up.

I sometimes have had issues with where my mom lives and with some of the hospitals and rehab nursing homes she's been in, but mostly I'm really grateful that we have these kind of places. I'm a geriatric social worker, and I am sorry to see that you missed a great opportunity to let the public know about the benefits of adult daycare, especially for those caring for their parents at home.

The lady who could not leave her mother home for 3 hours--her mom could go to adult daycare.

The couple where the mother is frail and the father is confused--the father could benefit from the stimulation of adult daycare instead of sitting in front of the TV and that would help his wife. The show communicates that the caregivers have to do everything at home OR stick their parent in a nursing home. Adult daycare is a wonderful option that the program ignored. I have seen seniors thrive when they get into the social environment of a day program. These programs offer so much more individual attention than nursing homes and so much more stimulation than the average caregiver's home!

Thank you for your enlightening program on a very pertinent subject, Caring for Your parents. Our Dad is 87 this month, recovered from a stroke last year. He is wheelchair bound, in diapers, with partial sight. He is very astute with all his mental faculties. My sister quit her job as a waitress to care for him full time.

My brother cares for him at night. My brother and I support my sister financially in a very meager amount. Our "transformative moments" have been rich and many and we are glad he is able to be in his home as difficult and life altering as this has been for all of us. My sister is a saint.


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I cried after watching Caring For Parents. Since then, her father has become increasingly lonely and introverted as he spends his days at home alone. Nancy worries that mornings once filled with trips to the coffee shop to catch up with friends are now spent in front of the television. And his beloved Wednesday bridge game at the senior center has been replaced with solitary TV dinners at the kitchen counter.

Below are a few tips for family caregivers to help support a senior widowed parent. Grief is a process, not an event. If your parent needs to grieve, consider assisting your parent to seek out other grievers. Often a local hospice program or Compassionate Friends group will offer the beneficial group support sessions you are seeking. Grief can lead to serious depression for both a caregiver and their loved one so be sure to seek out professional help if the sad feelings are severe or persistent. However, planning special events can help keep seniors stay engaged by creating something for them to look forward to.

Considering Moving Your Loved One into Your Home?

For example, grabbing a take-and-bake pizza and bringing the kids along for a visit to check on your elderly father can turn your normal Friday evening caregiving duties into a quick pizza party. Consider Hiring Help to Provide Transportation, Companionship or Home Care While family caregivers juggle their caregiving responsibilities, career and family, it may not always be possible to be available when your senior loved one needs assistance or a boost.

You might consider hiring an individual to bring them to a social event or go for a ride together. Many home care companies offer an array of services ranging from assistance with activities of daily living, to light housekeeping and companionship.


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A professional in-home caregiver can offer seniors a companion to talk to, play games with, or run errands while also relieving some duties that may have been solely placed on family caregivers like housekeeping, meal preparation and medication reminders. In addition, some assisted living facilities offer short-term stays to provide much-needed respite from your caregiving responsibilities. Wherever you seek assistance from, enlisting help from outside resources offers the duel benefit of helping enrich the lives of older adults as well as relieving some of the stress associated with family caregiving.

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For example, many senior centers offer enrichment classes, games and meals while adult day centers offer similar activities for adults with greater care needs. Or, for seniors who prefer to stay at home, non-profit meal delivery services offer a fresh meal as well as a brief social visit. By enlisting the social benefits of outside services, family caregivers can use these resources to help take some caregiving tasks off of their plates without feeling that senior loved ones are being neglected.