When you made the decision to become a family caregiver for your aging parent you knew that you were going to be making changes in your life. This role meant committing your time, energy, effort, and resources to fulfilling your loved one’s needs, which meant that you were going to have to divert those from other elements of your life. You might have thought that that may mean not participating in as many activities or not having as much leisure time, but what you might not have thought about is the impact that it could make on your marriage.
April is Couple Appreciation Month. This is the ideal time for you as a family caregiver to think about your care relationship and the ways that you can not only continue to nurture your marriage as a part of your caregiver journey, but to appreciate the importance that your partner plays in this journey. This is an important part not just of ensuring that you can be the best quality caregiver possible for your elderly parent, but also that you can maintain your marriage and have your relationship as strong as possible even when your care arrangement comes to an end.
Some ways that your partner can be an important part of your caregiver journey include:
- Support. Being a family caregiver is not an easy venture and it is very likely that you will experience caregiver stress, anxiety, and feelings of being overwhelmed while you are on your care journey with your parent. Your partner can be your greatest source of support, encouraging you and helping you to feel as though you are not alone in this experience.
- Help around the house. If you are spending extra time with your parent and handling their needs, you will not have as much time as you once did for tasks such as maintaining your home, cooking meals, bringing your children to activities, or other tasks. Your partner can step up and help take care of these tasks so that you can feel confident everything is being handled properly and do not exhaust or overly stress yourself.
- Time for yourself. When you are a caregiver it is easy to get so wrapped up in the efforts that you are putting forth for your parent that you forget about yourself. This can lead to stress, burnout, and diminished health, well-being, and quality of life. Your partner can be there for you to encourage you to take time for yourself, including planning activities, outings, and even getaways with you, or taking on more responsibilities so that you can take time to yourself occasionally.
If you have noticed that your caregiver efforts have become more than you are capable of handling on your own or you believe that your parent would benefit from more or more diversified care than they are currently receiving, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting home care for them. A care provider is an exceptional addition to your care routine, providing a highly personalized set of services tailored to addressing your loved one’s individual needs, challenges, and limitations while also supporting a greater level of independence, activity, and engagement. This helps your parent live a quality of life that they desire and deserve. In your role as a family caregiver, this can help you to relieve stress, focus your energy and attention more efficiently on your parent as well as the other obligations and responsibilities in your life, and continue to nurture your marriage as well as the relationships you have with the other loved ones in your life.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregiver services in Rohnert Park, CA, call At Your Service Home Care. Call today! Sonoma County: (707) 238-5700 or Marin County: (415) 942-8955
She became a discharge planner and immediately fell in love with the concept of home care and the autonomous clinical practice it affords nurses. Dr. Lucy was hooked and has been a strong supporter of home care ever since.Believing people need advocates in healthcare systems, she has championed that cause across the acute care and post-acute care setting.
Dr. Lucy has worked in every aspect of home care from Medicare Certified, DME, Infusion, Hospice and finally Private Duty/Private Pay services. She also works as a home care consultant across the country and as a legal nurse consultant for the home care industry.
Having worked in all areas of home care, Dr. Lucy has a well-rounded perspective of the challenges facing patients, families and the home care industry, and as a provider she advocates for patients through the maze of health care services. Dr. Lucy celebrated over 37 years as a nurse and patient advocate.
Dr. Lucy has a Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing from Lewis University, Romeoville, Illinois.In 1994, she received her Masters of Science in Health Service Administration from St. Mary's University, Moraga, California. Dr. Lucy received her Doctor of Nursing Practice awarded in 2016, graduating with Distinction and a 4.0 GPA.
She did her doctoral work on the global dementia crisis, aging and prevention strategies for healthy living. Developed dementia and Alzheimer's disease plans for aging patients leaving the hospital setting or entering long-term care or home health and hospice environments. She also developed a specialized program for those at risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
In 1992, Dr. Lucy was designated CAHSAH Certified Home Care Administrator in the inaugural offering of this designation through the California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH).
She is the founder and CEO of Creative Solutions Home Care Consulting Services and At Your Service Nursing & Home Care, a concierge nursing & home care agency that provides the services she believes are essential for seniors to age in place.She offers a higher level of care allowing people to be in their own homes with an emphasis on independence, safety, and quality of life.
Dr. Lucy is the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) and sits on the Board of Directors for California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH).
She has served on the boards for both state and national board associations, and is currently on the following boards and committees: Board of Directors, California State Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH), 2002-present, National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC's) Private Duty Home Care Association Director, and multiple state and national home care committees.
Dr. Lucy goes to Washington, DC, several times a year to advocate for senior services and home care issues. She was past Commissioner for the Sonoma Commission on Human Rights.She is past chair of the local Senior Advocacy Services.