I just picked up a copy of The Emotional Survival Guide for Caregivers by Barry J. Jacobs, PsyD. Its a good resource for anyone who is caring for an aging parent. The author gives examples to illustrate his points based on two siblings that are dealing with their mother’s illness. The book is a good guide, but may not be enough. One in three caregivers rate their stress level as high, and half say they have less time to spend with family and friends. A recent article by the AARP cautions care givers not to ignore the signs of depression, and caregiver “burnout”. If you are caring for a loved one, the number one recommendation I could make would be don’t be afraid to ask for help. Your local Alzheimer’s Association may be able to help with respite care, or you may need to have your loved one temporarily placed in a facility to give yourself time to recharge mentally. As an Elder Law Attorney, I often speak to the adult children, or spouse who are proving around the clock care while trying to deal with other family members. The stress can sometimes cause physical symptoms, and I caution my clients not to let themselves get ill. If you, or anyone you know, is caring for an elderly parent, don’t do it alone !
DIANA L. ANDERSON, ESQUIRE
Certified Elder Law Attorney
Carluccio, Leone, Dimon, Doyle & Sacks
9 Robbins Street
Toms River, New Jersey 08753