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Gainesville Florida Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog

Monday, September 26, 2016

Caring for the Caregiver

Caregivers play a vital role in all families, especially those with aging parents. There are many cases I see where there are a number of adult children but only one living in the same community as their older parents.

While all of them want to help with the caregiving role, it is clearly more difficult for those who live hundreds of miles away to be active on a day-to-day basis. That often leaves the bulk of the very physical and emotional challenges to only one of the adult children.

It is often the case that the caregiver role was not one they expected or intended to play. And it is a role that people often assume without guidance or support. As a result, caregivers often feel an obligation to care for their aging loved ones to the point of harming their own health. That can become dangerous for them and the people for whom they are caring.

Caregivers should make a long-term care plan for themselves, and they should make sure that their own finances and legal issues are in order.

The good news in our community is that there are a number of resources available for caregivers. Organizations and facilities like Elder Options, the Alzheimer’s Association, Al’z Place and others are here to help the aging family member and the caregiver.

We help support some of these organizations by speaking to their clientele and supporting their efforts. We are honored this fall to be a major sponsor of a caregiver conference on Tuesday, Nov. 15 entitled Dementia Care and the Arts. An annual conference spearheaded by Tom Rinkoski the caregiver coach at Elder Options, this year’s event will focus on the use of the arts to make dementia care more fun and effective.

I can’t encourage caregivers strongly enough to find someone for the morning of Nov. 15 to care for your loved one while you attend this conference from 9 a.m. to noon. Not only will it provide some respite for you, it will give you some new tools to use as you care for your loved one. You can register by calling Tom at (352) 692-5226 or emailing him at rinkoskit@agingresources.org.


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