Self-Care

Gardening: An Activity Anyone Can Do To Improve Their Health

Gardening: An Activity Anyone Can Do To Improve Their Health

Gardening is a great form of therapy and exercise that provides benefits like stress relief, improved mood, positive self-esteem, increased strength and mobility, better heart health, improved dexterity, and it even reduces the risk of developing dementia. With some modifications to tools, and an altered garden layout, seniors gardening into their golden years is possible.

Caring for Your Spouse

Caring for Your Spouse

Many caregiving resources, from books to podcasts and everything in between, are targeted toward adult children. Some of us might assume that all senior care is orchestrated by children, or at the very least by younger relatives, and this assumption isn't unfounded: almost half of all caregivers in the US are between 18 and 49 years of age. But according to an analysis conducted in 2015, 34% of caregivers are over 65 years old. This is not an insignificant portion of the caregiving population, and these caregivers, many of whom are the spouses of the persons receiving care, require different support than adult children caregivers do. 

This post offers advice for spouses who have found themselves, along with their partners, at the stage in life during which “in sickness and in health” has transitioned from being a promise to being their daily reality.

The Importance of Spending Time with Family

The Importance of Spending Time with Family

The benefits of spending time with your parents are numerous. Connections are so valuable, and it is our experiences with each other that allow us to build and foster relationships. Our connections to others are not frozen in time; they erode without proper maintenance. Allowing this to happen will lead to deep feelings of regret, and we should all try to avoid this emotion as much as possible. The worst regrets are those that we cannot change. This is always true of regrets concerning how we spend our time. Try not to allow this to happen to you. Spend time with your loved ones and create new lasting memories, while revisiting cherished old ones.

5 Signs of Caregiver Burnout and How to Fix It

5 Signs of Caregiver Burnout and How to Fix It

The responsibility of caregiving can become overwhelming, and too often caregivers put their own wellbeing on a back burner. As a caregiver, when do you know that your own health is becoming seriously compromised? Read on for five signs of caregiver burnout and how to fix it.

Family Caregivers: Don't Forget to Make Time for Relationships

Family Caregivers: Don't Forget to Make Time for Relationships

The relationships we have sustain us.  We need them to survive, especially during the times when we think we can’t possibly maintain them because of other overwhelming responsibilities.  Please take the time to care for yourself and make sure that you maintain your relationships because chances are you’ll need them to help you.  Just as you help others.

5 Signs of Caregiver Stress

Supporting a person in need of care requires time and energy. While it is often a rewarding experience, it is always a stressful and demanding experience. Recognizing the signs of caregiver stress in yourself or someone you care about is critical to taking action.

  • Denial: Caregivers might deny the current situation or simply underplay it.

"Everyone is making a big deal, I know dad will get better."

  • Anger: Caregivers might experience anger towards the senior in need of care or the primary medical condition like Dementia.

"I am going to lose it if I am asked the same question one more time!"

  • Social Withdrawal: Caregivers might no longer want to participate in social activities or gatherings.

"I am too tired to go out!"

  • Anxiety: Caregivers can experience significant anxiety over what the future may hold.

"I am worried what will happen if I can no longer care for mom."

  • Exhaustion and Depression: Caregivers might feel exhausted, hopeless and depressed.

"I can barely get out of bed"

Stay tuned for our next post on how to manage and reduce caregiver stress. Subscribe to our mailing list!

If you or a loved one requires respite care in the Greater Toronto or Calgary areas, book a free senior care assessment with Mavencare and get first 3hrs free when you book 10 or more hours.

or call at 1-800-856-2836

Tips to Help Manage Stress in the Sandwich Generation

What is the Sandwich generation?

As a parent, managing responsibilities of your children, no matter what age, is a strenuous enough task on its own. However, a sizeable percentage of the population, are taking care of their elderly parents while raising kids. Perhaps they can no longer live on their own and need some sort of daily assistance. Maybe they’ve moved in. However the familial make-up, those people who are raising their own children and taking care of their parents are often overworked and stressed.

They’re known as the sandwich generation, a term first used by American social worker Dorothy Miller in the early 1980’s. Today, those in the sandwich generation occupy more than one quarter of Canadians aged 45-64, according to the National Post. And studies done by the Pew Research Center indicate that 1 in 8 middle-aged Americans are currently caring for at least one child and a parent under the same roof.

Women are far likelier than men to be the main care provider — by more than three times. It’s estimated that at some point in their lives, 50-66% of all adult women in the United States will provide care for an elderly parent or in-law.

While the sandwich generation is not a particularly new phenomenon, it is one that can be the source of major stress for those who find themselves “sandwiched” between children, their elderly parents, while trying to maintain a work-balance and keep family finances in check.

How Do I Survive it?

Okay, so you might be reading this and think, “Wow, that’s me!” Stop. Breathe. All hope is not lost. There are many resources available online to help manage stress in the sandwich generation.

Here are some great tips on stress management from the American Psychological Association for those feeling the burden of taking care of children and a senior family member simultaneously:

Identify stressors

What events or situations trigger stressful feelings? Are they related to your children, family health, financial decisions, work, relationships or something else?

Recognize how you deal with stress 

Are you using unhealthy behaviours to cope with the stress of supporting your children and parents, and is this specific to certain events or situations?

Put things in perspective 

Make time for what’s really important. Prioritize and delegate responsibilities. Identify ways your family and friends can lessen your load so that you can take a break. Delay or say no to less important tasks. Find healthy ways to manage stress — Consider healthy, stress-reducing activities — taking a short walk, exercising, or talking things out with friends or family. Keep in mind that unhealthy behaviors develop over time and can be difficult to change. Focus on changing only one behavior at a time.

Take care of yourself 

Eat right, get enough sleep, drink plenty of water and engage in regular physical activity like walking or yoga or your weekly softball game. Keep in contact with your friends, family members. No matter how hectic life gets, you need to take care of yourself — which includes making time for yourself — so you have the mental and physical energy to care for your parents and children.

Ask for professional support 

Accepting help from supportive friends and family can improve your ability to persevere during stressful times. If you continue to be overwhelmed by stress or the unhealthy behaviors you use to cope, you may want to talk with a psychologist who can help you address the emotions behind your worries, better manage stress and change unhealthy behaviors.

What else can I do?

Of course, sometimes priorities shift quickly and life maneuvers you into a place where you are simply unable to address all aspects of family. You might find yourself unable, despite your willingness, to take care of your elderly loved one. We recognize this, and it’s why we built Mavencare — to help families by providing quality in-home care services.

If you’re finding the bind of being in the sandwich generation too great, perhaps your family might want to think about an in-home caregiver to assist your elderly parent. Visit us online and see how Mavencare can help.

Don’t let the sandwich get to you.

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