If you’ve ever flown in an airplane, you know the drill. Should the cabin pressure drop, put the oxygen mask on yourself before you put it on your child. You can’t care for someone else if you are out of air.
But when you’re caring for your spouse, parents or in-laws, it can be hard to catch your breath.
Caregiving strains the body mentally and physically. Multiple studies have shown that caregivers report higher levels of depression or other mental health problems than their peers who aren’t caregivers. Other research has shown that caregivers have an increased risk of heart disease and suffer an increased rate of physical problems (such as acid reflux, headaches and obesity).
November is Family Caregivers Month, so we recognize your dedication while encouraging you to take care of yourselves. ElderServe offers both free and paid programming that you might find useful.
Sometimes, you just need a break – to get a haircut, run errands or even have lunch with a friend. ElderServe’s HomeCare or Adult Day Health Center may offer you respite if friends or family are unable to help. These are fee-based programs. If you can’t afford to pay with your own funds, you might be eligible for assistance through KIPDA (HomeCare), Medicaid (Adult Day), or the VA (both programs). To learn more, call 502-776-3066 for Adult Day and 502-583-8012 for HomeCare.
Exercise and relax
Take time to exercise, meditate or work on hobbies, all of which can be done in the home. But if you crave social contact, are 60 or older and a resident of Jefferson County, then our Senior Center can help. We offer free classes in tai chi, yoga, quilting and crafts – just to name a few. Call 502-778-7418 to learn more.
Our Friendly Visitor program pairs older adults with volunteers based on common interests. Popular activities among our matches are crafts, card and board games – or simply visiting. If you are an older caregiver who feels isolated, a Friendly Visitor might brighten your day. This program is free. Call 502-736-3838 for more information.
You don’t have to go caregiving alone. If you need help finding resources such as support groups, please contact one of our care managers at 502.587.8673.