Taking Care: Helping An Aging or Ill Loved One

Taking Care
Helping An Aging or Ill Loved One

Sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, neighbors and friends in the Washington County area may be needed to provide care in one way or another to an aging or ill loved one. The Washington County CARES Caregiving Committee will be sponsoring TAKING CARE - HELPING AN AGING OR ILL LOVED ONE, an information series aimed at assisting the many who find themselves in the role of being a 'caregiver'.
The series will be held at Hospice of Washington County (747 Northern Ave., Hagerstown) each Thursday in April from 5:30 - 7:00 p.m. A light dinner and conversation will begin at 5:30 so busy attendees can enjoy having their meal prepared for them and be ready to absorb the useful information that will be provided.
The members of the CARES Caregiving committee spend some portion of their workday helping those who need care, so they are well acquainted with the needs and struggles that you may be facing. Before you say to yourself, "I don't' have time", finish reading this article. I am sure that you will decide that the time investment will yield amazing returns.
The first night - April 3 - we will talk about "Care Giving 101 - Stop, Look, and Listen". This information will help you to know what things to watch out for. You will also learn how to be a really good listener so that you may know what your loved one needs, even if they cannot put it into words. As your loved one ages, you will want to learn strategies and resources that are available to help your loved one stay at home as long as possible. On the other hand, we will give you some guidelines to help you decide when you really need to look for more suitable housing arrangements. The first night is packed full of vital information that will help you to provide even better care to your loved one.
The second night - April 10 - will be focused on getting "Out and About". Few people enjoy spending all their time indoors, but taking aging or ill loved ones away from home can be a difficult process. This does not have to be the case. We will teach you how to make this process much easier and safer. A "to go" kit is a vital part of preparing to leave home, and we will teach you how to assemble one. By the end of the night, you will know how to make outings easier and safer for everyone.
The third night - April 17 - we will delve into tips for "When 'DON'T!' Doesn't Work." How do you handle situations in which parents or loved ones are engaging in inappropriate or unsafe actions? Our speakers will address some techniques that you can try to help protect your loved one. Many of these techniques involve innovative ways to communicate. We will also help you to know how to protect your own health and safety in difficult situations.
The fourth night - April 24 - features "Don't Just Think About it - Get it Together." This program will help you to get organized. If you are tired of running around trying to figure out how in the world you are going to get everything accomplished, this night is for you. You will learn how to ensure that medications, pertinent medical history, and important contact information is readily available when you need it. We will also help you to know how to plan your day so that you can "get it all in". You will also learn some of the most important information of the whole series - how to reduce caregiver stress and prevent compassion fatigue. This will not only help you as a caregiver, but will also prevent damage to your relationship with your loved one.
Mark your calendars now for this exciting series. Caregivers ought not to miss these sessions. Obtaining information and growing your knowledge might be the best things you can do, not only for your self, but also for the person that receives your assistance. The cost is $7, for each evening. If you want further information or if you have any questions, please contact Sherri Evans at 301-791-7221, Dawn Johns at 301-791-6360, or Pete McMillin at 240-420-4119.

Pete McMillin is the Manager of Marketing and Sales for The Village at Robinwood and Ravenwood Lutheran Village. He is also the husband and son of caregivers.