Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Making Care Easier for Familiy Caring for Elderly Parents

Caring for elderly parents is one of the most stressful and thankless jobs anyone can undertake. Very few caregivers are lucky enough to have an entire support team to fall back on when they need help. But getting help isn't always easy.

You know you're overworked, overtired and overextended. But, do you know how to easily reach out for help? Every time you ask for help, there's a whole new set of questions that arise. Will your sister know what to do when she gets to mom's house? Does your friend who's driving mom know where her doctor's office is? How do I know things are getting done? When I was a caregiver, it felt like it took just as much effort to get people to help than to just do things myself.

But, getting help doesn't have to be that hard. The first step is to be prepared. As the old saying goes, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Making Care Easier (MCE) is developing the tools that help caregivers set up information ahead of time so when you're sick and can't be there for mom, have another commitment, or just need a break, your family and friends can step in and offer a helping hand. It's a free online or mobile app that helps you connect for caring.

Start preparing for help by preparing yourself. Gather the information someone would need to take over your role as caregiver. Start with the basics: what medicines are they taking and when, who is their doctor, allergies, medical facts, etc. Keep a log of your routine and use that as a place to start.
Be sure to add in a few bits of information to help other caregivers relate to your mom or dad: what's their favorite music or tv show? Do they like to read or need a special light or magnifier to do so? Do they play cards or like board games? Are there topics that would be better left not discussing? Remember that as needs change, so does the information that new caregivers need. Be sure to update what worked and add more information for what didn't. Don't be afraid to ask your family for input and remember that there is a learning curve for caring. Lastly, don't forget to thank your helpers - maybe they'll remember to thank you next time.

Once you have the information, MCE is building the tools that let you store and share information so if you're not available, your parents still get the care they need. Best of all, you and your family can access that information when and where it's convenient to you-online, on your phone or email. 

To join now or for more information, visit www.MakingCareEasier.com.

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