Having a big multi-generation family brings not only great holiday time, strong ties, emotional and financial support, but also responsibilities and challenges you may have never faced before. Time flies, our kids grow and do not even notice that as we are getting older. Our parents become older too and they need care and support as never before. As our parents age, we become the first who they rely on. Starting from helping with filling basic forms on the computer to arranging medical appointments and schedules, we become caregivers to our seniors and do it without any hesitation. Caregiving requires lots of patience, time, and understanding from both sides. Once our father started having problems with his vision, his ability to perform usual daily tasks became a challenge, even a visit to a bathroom or taking a bath became somewhat requiring a constant presence of a caregiver. Our father often says that he does not require any help and can manage basic chores by himself, and we all know that it is not true. Another situation when I have to take my mom to medical exams because her hearing abilities are getting worse and she cannot hear all the necessary information related to her health and life.
Family caregiving is not always easy because you need to balance your life, family, work, young children and many other things. Sometimes it comes to arguments and conflicts when there are more than one caregiver in a family and the responsibilities shared between family members. It is always a question of communication and understanding. We often hear that "she is her daughter that’s why she has to care for her mother" or "she is not working and sitting with young kids at home so she has to take the auntie to the doctor’s appointment". I think the most important is do not let caregiving take you too far so that it affects your health, personal life and work no matter if it driven by guilt, compassion or a sense of duty.
Caregiving is all about balance, communication and support. I do not want my parents and family feel that they are a burden to me only because they require extra help and care. Currently 1 in 4 Canadians identified as a caregiver, and that number is expected to grow to 1 in 3 by 2020. Caregiving takes much time and energy but we are ready to do everything for our family.
On search of some support and encouragement we came across Elizz. It offers tons of information including articles and resources for the Do It Yourself (DIY) Caregiver, virtual advice through caregiver coaches and nurse advisors, health care services provided in the home. Caregivers can find everything needed in one convenient place.
My first stop was on-line resources on Elizz.com and I really liked the Do It Yourself (DIY) Caregiver set of articles especially Challenges of being a caregiver: Managing work-life balance. I recognized our situation and our struggles. It was great to find some support and guidance and see the bigger picture of what is going on in our family life, our feelings and how to cope with them. Elizz also offers peer-to-peer group support as well as a personalized social network called Tyze, which helps individual caregivers to manage their situation and connections with family.
Which Elizz caregiver services are right for you? Take 5 Stages of Caregiving Quiz to find what fits you and your family.
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