The New Age of Caregiving

Carol has enjoyed an independent life while working as an office assistant for an established company. She had many friends, an active social life and enjoyed the company of her parents. Carol’s mother passed away about five years ago, and over time, she has had to take on more responsibility for caring for her elderly father who was diagnosed with dementia.

Like many of the 39.8 million Americans caring for aging parents, Carol has been making visits to her father’s home several times a week.  She promised never to place her parents in a long-term care facility, and now she has found it necessary to move her father into her home to provide more constant care.

Living with someone with dementia day in and out can take a toll on any caregiver.  Carol decided to transition to working part-time since she is nearing retirement.  However, when she is home, “He won’t do anything without me. I feel like he is taking over my life,” Carol shared at a recent JFCS caregiver support group that was recommended to her.  After several sessions, Carol realized that she is not alone with her frustrations, her feelings of loss, and loss of privacy.  Additionally, Carol began receiving one-on-one counseling services to help her gain the tools to deal with her father’s behaviors and repetitive questioning.

Her counselor also referred her to the JFCS Senior Concierge HomeCare program. Being able to schedule four hours of homecare three days per week has allowed Carol time for her part-time job and to occasionally have a break from her caregiving duties.  The biggest benefit is that Carol’s father enjoys having the companionship of his aide several days a week, as well as the socialization another person brings into his life. Thanks to the support Carol has received from JFCS, she feels like she is not only managing, she has come back to life.

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