Griffin Hospital Lifeline
and TV host and caregiver advocate Leeza Gibbons have teamed up to offer free
online tips and advice for those caring for seniors.
According to the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention, there are more than 34 million informal
caregivers in the U.S. Often, caregivers face incredible pressures helping to
ensure their loved ones are safe and aging well at home, while simultaneously
maintaining their own day-to-day life.
As a caregiver herself,
Gibbons understands the roller coaster of emotions involved - feeling angry,
frustrated, exhausted, alone or sad, while also feeling fulfilled in helping
them age healthy and happy. To help other caregivers cope with this unique and
important role, Gibbons, who is a caregiver for her father, Carlos, and Philips
Lifeline offer these tips:
- Take your oxygen first - Caregivers are nurturers, but if
you really want to nurture someone, you have to fill yourself up first - mind,
body, soul and spirit. That’s the first way to give love to your loved one.
When you feel better and are mentally stronger as the caregiver, you can go the
distance and your loved one will also benefit from the positive change.
- Talk as a family - To keep everyone on the same
page and ensure everyone’s voice is heard, set up time for a family “check in.”
This could be a family dinner or monthly video conference, where family members
come together to talk through important topics and emotions top of mind with
everyone. This also serves as an open environment to make everyone’s voice
count. You may not all agree but it’s a time to go from conflict to consensus.
- Incorporate technology into your caregiving - There
are solutions available right now - and they’re getting better every day - that
can support your role as caregiver. In addition, these solutions can help
engage your loved ones to help improve their overall quality of life and
independence. One solution is a medical alert service. Have a conversation
about how this service can benefit both of you, as it will give you peace of
mind knowing your loved one will have access to help, even if you’re not there.
More advice from
Gibbons are available at lifeline.philips.com/caregiver, including tips for
managing caregiver stress, how caregivers can stay healthy, reducing stress
when caring for kids and aging parents, balancing family caregiving obligations
and your career, and finding caregiver support.
“As caregivers, we
worry about parents who live too far away for us to check on them, or fathers
who live alone and get up in the middle of the night, or mothers who have been
diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, diabetes, or another chronic condition,” Gibbons
said. “Being a caregiver can be an isolating experience, and it’s hard to know
where to turn. I hope these tips and information can lessen the toll caregiving
can take on us so that we can care for ourselves and our loved ones.”
partners with Phillips Lifeline to provide seniors with America’s most trusted
medical alert service as well as other caregiving technology to help people to
live with greater independence, peace of mind and dignity in the place they
feel most comfortable – their own homes. For more information, call (800)
242-1306 x4722 or visit griffinhealth.org/lifeline.