November is National Family Caregiver MonthWhat issues are family caregivers facing today? DARTS Service Coordinator Lynn Cibuzar provides an introduction from her perspective working with family caregivers:
What issues are family caregivers facing today?
DARTS Service Coordinator Lynn Cibuzar provides an introduction from her perspective working with family caregivers:
“Every generation has to adapt various life events to fit the times. Family caregiving is no exception. Caregiving is dynamic and ever-changing as people respond to societal and family changes. Even though the vast majority of family caregivers I counsel want to assist and support to their family members, they don’t find it easy. I believe there are opportunities for fulfillment and meaning if families can mold this life event to fit the times.
Current economic reality confronts both older people and their caregivers. How can someone afford the costs of getting old when they have lost a great deal of equity in their homes and investment portfolios? And how will baby boomers who have lost jobs, taken early retirement, or lost equity in their retirement funds pay for their own needs as they age?
One new reality is that many baby boomers don’t have children to assume the role of family caregiver. Who will they rely on to wrestle the intricacies of aging? How can they create relationships that will help substitute for the role typically filled by offspring? Will these baby boomers reinvent caregiving as they have reinvented so many other life experiences? Is it time for childless baby boomers to ask their nieces and nephews to “try out” for the role of caregiver? Or will we start seeing ads for future caregivers on Craig’s List?
We know that in the coming years caregiving will be different. We just don’t know how different.
- Lynn Cibuzar, LSW, Service Coordinator, DARTS
Upcoming information sessions you might find helpful:
From 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 29, Park Ridge of Hastings will host Family Caregiving Strategies. More than ever, families face the practical and emotional challenges of caring for elders. Whether sudden or gradual, these responsibilities can be unfamiliar and overwhelming, particularly for working adults. Is your family ready? DARTS Service Coordinator Lynn Cibuzar will help you learn about resources and strategies that can help maintain everyone's dignity and connectedness. Park Ridge of Hastings is located at 901 W. 16th Street.
If you would like information about Advance Care Directives or help completing one with your loved one, contact Rev. Peter Morlock, Advanced Care Planning Chaplain at Regina Medical Center. He can be reached by calling 651-480-4587.
One caregiver’s reflections on caring for older loved ones:
Caring Reflections/Rites of Passage
I went to a graduation party a few months ago. It was a wonderful celebration. The graduate and her fresh-faced friends were bubbling over with joy about their accomplishments, delight in planning a fun summer, and the wonder of anticipating college adventures ahead. We in her parents’ generation beamed with pride for having helped guide another human safely into a new stage of life. As we drank our lemonade, we also mused about the new stage of life we’ve come to ourselves, when children need us less and elders need us more.
I’ve been thinking about that celebration, and I want a rite of passage that marks this point in time, claims it, even celebrates it. There are things to celebrate in these caregiving years—for me, there’s the joy of experiencing tender moments with people I love, the delight of knowing down deep that I’m doing something of great meaning, and the wonder of discovering new things about myself.
So how shall we mark this life passage? How can we launch caregivers into this stage of life with the assurance that they’re surrounded by others who will guide them safely into this new place?
(Editor’s note: Beth’s complete online journal can be found at: http://www.darts1.org/blog/caring-reflections.)
For a resource guide for service providers who can help in your caregiver journey, please stop by the Hastings Senior Center in the Tilden Community Center, or go online to: www.darts1.org/dakotacoun
If you would like to submit a question or concern about your own caregiving experience, and get direct, one-to-one information and advice from a licensed social worker and eldercare advisor, pleasevisit:www.darts1.org/online-caregiving-advisor or call 651-455-1560.