Some gradually inherit the role of caregiver as their parents needs expand and bit by bit they shoulder an increasing burden of care. Others are thrust into caregiving and their lives and priorities change overnight.For our family, change came gradually. We recently lost our grandfather, who fought in World War II, was married to his wife for 64 years, raised two daughters and lived most of his life in perfect health. But when he hit his 70's, change came slowly-not only for him, but for our entire family.
Our family is lucky because our aunt is amazing. She lives close by our grandparents and served as our grandparents' primary caregiver. From emergency calls to trips to the store to taking time off to run Gramps to appointments, she single-handedly provided excellent care. It's not that we didn't want to help or couldn't, but we live hundreds of miles away and aren't there facing the challenges of daily caregiving. While our visits were nice and the financial support was greatly appreciated, we didn't know what else to do. Not only was this burden hard for her, but our mother felt incredible guilt for not being able to help more. When you're far away, it's hard to know what needs to be done and how to help.
For others, change comes as quickly as a phone call. Whether it's a hip fracture or heart failure, families' lives are changed forever. With new needs and information to learn, everything seems to happen at once. Often, there are many people who offer to help, but families are more focused on getting to the next step of recovery than managing caregiving tasks. We developed Making Care Easier (MCE) to help families who are caring for their aging parents.
Throughout our caregiving experiences, we learned what worked and starting thinking of ways to improve what didn't. Caregiving is one of the most challenging things most people will ever do and MCE is working to provide tools for families to rally around their parents and be an active part of caring. MCE is about helping caregivers tell their families what needs to be done and helping family members share the burden of care. It's about wading through the mass information out there to provide helpful resources. Most of all, it's about Making Care Easier.
For more information or to register for free. visit www.MakingCareEasier.com. We're very excited to hear about your caregiving experiences and look forward to hearing more so we can build tools that work.