Being a caregiver to someone you love and care deeply for can be an exhaustive and confusing time in a person’s life. There are so many things to worry about: doctor appointments, legal matters, meals, finances, home maintenance, transportation, prescriptions, laundry, work, family members schedules….the list is endless.
And this list is what the caregiver is typically worrying about in her or his own family life. Now multiply that list by 2, and the caregiver is now worrying about someone else’s lists, it could be their parent, an in-law, a sibling or spouse.
For even the most astute “have it together” person, these lists can become a weight that hangs around the caregiver’s neck—silently pulling both their mental and physical energy.
According to Joseph Castro, Live Science Contributor Energy has a few important properties. For one, energy is always “conserved”—it cannot be created or destroyed. It can, however, be transferred between objects or systems by the interactions of forces. So if we think about the lists hanging around the caregivers neck, the energy of the caregiver is being transferred to all the items on the lists—slowly draining the caregiver.
One of the roles for the Senior Services Department is to be a place where the community can come to for assistance and/or resources for older adults. In fact, it is written in our Mission statement.
The mission of the City of Auburn Hills Senior Citizen Services Department is to act as a community focal point on aging, where seniors, families, caregivers and the community can come for services, information and support for concerns related to aging. The Senior Services Department will strive to provide effective, informative, current and friendly programs, services and events.
Beginning this year, we will be promoting our Mission Statement more through enhanced communications, programs, partnerships and services. As many of you may or may not be aware, the City of Auburn Hills was designated a Community for a Lifetime by the State of Michigan and an Age Friendly Community by AARP and WHO. Both these designations speak to the heart of who and what we are.
Getting back to caregivers. I recently reviewed an informative publication from the Area Agency on Aging 1B called “Caregiver Technology Solutions.” This journal included 47 technologies that can assist caregivers of older adults. The publication reviews a variety of technology, apps, and websites designed to assist caregivers without bias. It is very simple to read and has easy-to-understand language.
I encourage caregivers, or those who know a caregiver, to check out this publication. You can view and download it from the Area Agency 1B website http://www.aaa1b.org/2015/11/16/recently-released-caregiver-technology-report/. We will also be adding the link to our website.
I would love to hear from anyone who does use this guide and how you were able to use it as a caregiver.
I am looking for topics related to older adults, aging, caregivers, fitness, etc. to add to our tool box for future blogs, programs, or services. With this in mind, please give us feedback!
Karen Adcock, Senior Services Director