Caring for Elderly Parents - Connecting for Caring

4 years ago

Making Care Easier (MCE) is working to improve the ways families are caring for their elderly parents. Now more than ever, families are spread across the country. Our mission is to make care easier for the entire family by providing the tools and information needed to help everyone stay connected and take an active part in caring. I'd love to hear your story and get your suggestions what we can build online to make your lives easier.

Some gradually inherit the role of caregiver as their parents needs expand and bit by bit they shoulder an increasing burden of care. Others are thrust into caregiving and their lives and priorities change overnight.

For our family, change came gradually. We recently lost our grandfather, who fought in World War II, was married to his wife for 64 years, raised two daughters and lived most of his life in perfect health. But when he hit his 70's, change came slowly-not only for him, but for our entire family.

Our family is lucky because our aunt is amazing. She lives close by our grandmother and served as our grandparents' primary caregiver. From emergency calls to trips to the store to taking time off to run Gramps to appointments, she single-handedly provided excellent care. It's not that we didn't want to help or couldn't, but we live hundreds of miles away and aren't there facing the challenges of daily caregiving. While our visits were nice and the financial support was greatly appreciated, we didn't know what else to do. Not only was this burden hard for her, but our mother felt incredible guilt for not being able to help more. When you're far away, it's hard to know what needs to be done and how to help.

For others, change comes as quickly as a phone call. Whether it's a hip fracture or heart failure, families' lives are changed forever. With new needs and information to learn, everything seems to happen at once. Often, there are many people who offer to help, but families are more focused on getting to the next step of recovery than managing caregiving tasks. MCE is developing the tools to help families going through an emergency as well as preparing everyone in the event something happens.

Throughout our caregiving experiences, we learned what worked and starting thinking of ways to improve what didn't. Caregiving is one of the most challenging things most people will ever do and MCE is working to provide tools for families to rally around their parents and be an active part of caring. MCE is about helping caregivers tell their families what needs to be done and helping family members share the burden of care. It's about wading through the mass information out there to provide helpful resources. Most of all, it's about Making Care Easier.

This is an article written by one of the incredible members of the SheKnows Community. The SheKnows editorial team has not edited, vetted or endorsed the content of this post. Want to join our amazing community and share your own story? Sign up here.

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