Navigating The Caregiver Journey

Posted on March 01, 2021

Silver Comet Village Caregiver Journey Blog

According to the National Alliance for Caregiving, in collaboration with AARP, “more than 65 million people, 29% of the U.S. population, provide care for a chronically ill, disabled, or aged family member or friend during any given year and spend an average of 20 hours per week providing care for their loved one.”

With this statistic in mind, many individuals starting their journey as caregivers are unaware of the significance of this new role in their lives.  As with many things in life, a caregiver’s experience is unique to them and their loved one. Our mission at Silver Comet Village is to be a resource to families and share information and tools to help family caregivers provide the highest quality of care they can. 

Our senior living community in Powder Springs, Georgia, proudly offers independent living, assisted living, and memory care and support services to older adults and families. The caregiver journey is often overlooked but can help individuals understand and answer questions like:

  • What can I expect as a family caregiver?
  • How can caregiving impact my personal health and mental wellness?
  • How do I balance my life (children, job, etc.) with my caregiving responsibilities? 
  • What if my family member’s health needs change?

Even if an individual gets initial insight into the caregiving role, they may need additional assistance down the road. Our team at Silver Comet Village would like to share some helpful information about what to expect throughout the caregiver journey, as well as tips for success so that caregivers and families can make well-informed decisions about their senior care needs.

Early Stages of Caregiving

The early stages of caregiving aren’t always evident. When people think of caregiving, they tend to envision a more advanced form of senior care portrayed in the mainstream media. However, it is common for the early stages of caregiving to be a more hands-off approach. Your loved one is just starting to need help with small tasks but remains mostly independent.

In this stage, your family member will be able to do most things independently, but some of their chores may be too strenuous for them to do alone. Making appointments, medication reminders, or basic housekeeping are a few examples of tasks that your loved one may need assistance completing in the early stages of caregiving.

Additionally, during the early stages of caregiving, you and your family member can plan for the future together. While they remain independent and are able to make decisions (if they have been diagnosed with a memory impairment), you can discuss with them what they want their care to look like in the future when/if their needs change. 

The early stage of the caregiver journey is also the best time to handle all the necessary legal, financial, and long-term care planning decisions. 

Remain supportive and confident about the caregiving experience and show your loved one that helping them is something you want to do rather than something you have to do. Keeping a positive attitude toward the person you are providing care for is essential in maintaining a healthy relationship with them.

Active Caregiving

Active caregiving refers to the stage when your loved one is beginning to need more assistance with their daily routine. As an informal caregiver, your role is starting to expand, and more of your day may now be spent providing care for your family member.

You may need to assist the senior in your life with more activities of daily living (ADLs) such as bathing, dressing, personal hygiene tasks, and mobility. 

It is common for many caregivers to start to experience caregiver burnout in this stage. Between juggling work, a personal life, and evolving caregiving responsibilities, caregivers can often feel overwhelmed and become exhausted – physically and mentally. Make sure to take a break from your caregiving duties and ask for and accept help from time to time.

Continue to be supportive and avoid displaying any negative emotions about providing care. Many times, seniors begin to feel guilty and selfish when they need additional attention because they do not want to feel like a burden. Reassure your loved one that helping them is not a burden but an opportunity to strengthen your bond and support them in their time of need.

When to Consider Additional Care Options

There may come a time when the responsibility of caring for your loved one becomes too much, or their health needs require more expertise than you can offer. If this time comes, resources and senior living services are available, such as assisted living and memory care and support, to ensure that the senior in your life receives the necessary care.

How Do You Know When It’s Time to Consider These Options?

Common situations or signs that it may be time to consider senior living options could include:

  • You feel that your caregiving responsibilities are too much for you to handle alone,
  • Your loved one’s condition is worsening, and care is needed more frequently,
  • Or the senior in your life has a progressive memory impairment.

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Tips for Caregiver Success

5 Tips for Family Caregiver_Silver Comet Village

Take Care of Yourself First

You cannot take care of someone else if you are not healthy. To be the best caregiver you can be, you need to be well and able. This means finding time to exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet, and practice self-care, whatever that means to you.

Ask For and Accept Help

You cannot shoulder the responsibilities of your work, personal life, and caregiving alone. When others around you offer help, accept it. If you feel like you need a break or need to give something else your full attention, do not be afraid to reach out to your support network for assistance.

Be Flexible

Not everything will go according to plan. No matter how thoroughly you plan out your day, something else will come up. Be flexible in your caregiving. By adapting to the situation at hand, you will significantly reduce your stress, solve the issue, and provide exceptional care to your loved one.

Assisted Living and Memory Care & Support at Silver Comet Village

Assisted Living in Powder Springs, Georgia

Assisted living services at Silver Comet Village provide support with the activities of daily living (ADLs) while encouraging residents to maintain as much of their independence as possible. Our assisted living services are flexible, so your loved one will get the help they want when they need it. Whether it is medication management, mobility assistance, or ensuring the senior in your life always looks their best, we are here to help 24/7.

Our assisted living amenities include:

  • Two-story lobby with grand staircase
  • Bistro, private dining room, and fine dining room with fireplace
  • Activity room, classroom, fitness gym, and salon
  • Access to outdoor living spaces, gardens, and walking paths
  • Large covered patio
  • Private access to the Silver Comet Trail

Memory Care & Support in Powder Springs, Georgia

Our memory care and support team at Silver Comet Village recognizes that individuals experiencing memory loss require extra care and attention. We provide care tailored to fulfill each individual’s needs in a comfortable, safe environment. This lifestyle approach fosters independence and contributes to a feeling of daily success for our residents.

Our memory care and support amenities include:

  • Secure outdoor courtyard 
  • Interior entrance to memory care and support neighborhood for comfort and security
  • Neighborhood layout that affords a spacious feel and enhances watchful oversight
  • Blended multipurpose space 
  • Interior courtyard furnished with natural light and easy outdoor access
  • Beauty salon/barbershop located within our memory care and support neighborhood

Additional Resources

If you need additional support, various initiatives, organizations, foundations, and other entities are available to help you and your loved one. Silver Comet Village also offers features links to several prominent organizations on our website.

Should your caregiving responsibilities become more involved, remember to remain supportive and seize the opportunity to get closer to your loved one and create meaningful moments together.

Should there come a time that your family needs additional senior care, Silver Comet Village offers assisted living or memory care and support services that will provide compassionate care for your loved one when they need it.

To learn more about Silver Comet Village and our senior care options, we invite you to contact us or visit our website.

Updated: March 15, 2021