• Fri. Sep 30th, 2022

By Dr. Tyra Oldham

Care Corner is for all caregivers: mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, and surrogates who care for someone. It is Spring Break for some, and for others, it is a time to start doing more things outside of the home. The importance of care is to determine what cycle of caregiving you are in. Some caregivers are in the parenting stage of life, whereas some take care of a parent(s) while others care for a spouse or partner. No matter who you care for, Spring is a time to focus on managing life goals while taking time to assist those you love to do the things they need or want.

During this Spring Break, parents will need to dedicate more time and care to their children. Parents will undoubtedly take time from work or locate additional support to deliver the care required during the week of Spring Break. For some parents, this can be a challenge because of money, time, and the ability to take off from work. Parents are required to commit additional time during this week which can be emotionally and physically challenging. For those caring for an elderly parent or a spouse, Spring is a time when more outings are scheduled that are challenging in the Winter. Caregivers for the elderly are more likely to have more appointments in the Spring, including but not limited to various doctors such as podiatrists, dentists, and cosmetological. No matter your care situation, begin with a plan. 

Caregivers have challenges, and the opportunity to maximize focus is to plan to manage the unexpected things that arise. Remember, a schedule can keep a specific focus on the goal, but I can tell you to remain flexible. Flexibility can make a challenging day an opportunity for learning while reducing stress. Remember, caregiving is a proactive process, but caregivers are subject to many forces out of their control making life feel reactive at times. It is these unscheduled forces that can make caregiving complex and stressful. Some examples of reactive care are when caregivers seek outside support for their loved ones, and the support fails to arrive, leaving the caregiver to fulfill this role. Other unexpected occurrences are managing insurance responses to care and unfortunate illnesses that may arise. A plan can go a long way to mapping out a care schedule that assists in managing time, energy, and stress. Further, a care schedule allows family members to understand the family’s responsibilities and expectations around care. The next step in care scheduling is to communicate your goals so that everyone in your ecosystem is aware of the plan. A plan created in silence can be selfish and isolating. Caregivers need all the support they can get!

Caregivers supporting elderly parents really need to create a schedule to make sure you are managing your time effectively while caring for your loved one. It is always helpful to put up a whiteboard or calendar in a family room to chart the activities for the week and month. Charting can reduce those stressful questions regarding time schedules and reduce overbooking issues. It is very easy to take care of others while overlooking yourself, so calendars can assist in managing life’s expectations.

Remember, the act of care is more gratifying with sound planning. Caregiving can be spontaneous, but a plan can make life easier. 

Spring Break is not only for our children but also for the caregiver. During Spring Break, is a great time to combine care and family. Parents can have grandparents and children come together to give the caregiver a Spring Break if only a couple of hours. Caregivers take time for a “Spring thing” that supports health, body, and mind. See self-care image.

For more information on care support and caregiving advice, write or email the “Care Corner.” Want to discuss care? Care Corner is that place to talk care, address questions for current and potential caregivers, and provide suggestions on agencies, services, and tips to assist in a care journey. (Read more of the article from the Herald Newspaper– subscribe now

The Care Corner is for everyone, no matter their age or process in care. For more information on caregiving, send your questions to Care Corner at the Cincinnati Herald or via email at care@carecorner.info.