By Martha Paulson

Today, every six seconds someone turns 62. Makes you stop and think, doesn’t it? As more and more aging adults start to retire, families at one point have to take on the responsibility of care for a loved one. When you have your own family to worry about, the added responsibility can become overwhelming. Playing the role of caregiver can have adverse changes on everyone who enlists that into their own life. Whether it is the spouse, daughter or son of the ailing parent, becoming a caregiver will have a lasting effect on a person’s life. Families should remember that not only is the individual that needs care less independent, but most important so is the caregiver. Family members that provide care for a loved one loose as much of their independence as well. It is important to keep a close watch on the caregiver. Offer assistance as much as possible.

Watch for signs of depression. Do not let the person isolate themselves. Since some people have a harder time of asking for help, make sure they are aware that help is always available. Try to understand their position. Put yourself in their shoes. Could you handle that responsiblity alone? In our busy lives, we tend to ignore how someone may be feeling.

Ensure them that your are there for them. Give them much needed breaks to regain their sanity. Family caregivers sometimes neglect themselves, do not get enough rest, and may not eat properly. They may start to feel overwhelmed with the added responsibility.

Have a family meeting. Place one family member in charge of being aware monthly of who will provide what and discuss who would like to pitch in their time or can provide a gift certificate. Offer to prepare a meal. Assist with lawn care or hire a service. Do the grocery shopping or help them order their groceries on line through Peapod, a wonderful service which will deliver their groceries to their door and bring them in. Give them a gift certificate for someone to come and clean their home or provide laundry service. The possibilities are endless when you make the effort. Close family members can provide sitter services to replace the caregiver at least once a week. Don’t always ask, just do it. Lightening the burden for the family caregiver will be the best gift you can give. Remember, family caregivers do not get a vacation.

Support from family and friends can make a huge difference on the caregivers spirit. Just knowing someone is there makes a world of difference. Through this kind of support families can become stronger and develop good relationships. Remember that one day you may be the family caregiver.

Martha Paulson Specializing in providing assistance for you or your loved one to help maintain an independent quality of life in the comfort of your own home. Free in-home hairdresser and manicure services provided to our clients for their convenience. Located in Round Lake, Il Tailored to every aspect of your needs. To request a no-obligation free in-home consultation visit us at

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