In Sickness and in Health….

by Karen on May 14, 2014

Senior Couple with Home ConciergeWe do a lot of errand work with senior clients at A Second Me – those vital, independent folks living at home or in retirement centers who want to manage their own affairs as long as possible.  Those seniors reach out to us because we can help make their lives better, easier, even more fun!

Because of Karen’s experience with her mother, son, and mother in law, she’s seen what her relatives need from her and the team of family/volunteer/hired caregivers.  So it makes sense her company would be perfectly suited to meet a senior’s needs.  Karen’s experience also makes her expert on what the caregivers for seniors and kids with disabilities most need.  Knowing how much pressure caregivers face, we’re often perplexed at how few caregivers we hear from…we’re here to help, but we’re finding there’s a resistance to asking for help with a loved one.

Errand Service Support for SeniorsThe caregivers who are least apt to ask for help are the spousal or partner caregivers.  It seems the marriage vows really do see some of us through old age.  Maybe it’s a sense of responsibility or duty to take care of our husband or wife.  Maybe it’s that the caretaker partner doesn’t notice how much work caring for his/her loved one has become.  It’s a gradual progression of the relationship for spouses – compared to the “newness” of an adult child having to step in a care for a parent.  It’s a big shift in the lives of an adult child so they tend to seek education and support to fill a brand new need.

For spouses, it may be likened to raising children “backward.”  You start with a capable, self sufficient person and progress back through the phases where they’re not proficient at banking, driving, completing tasks, and ultimately dressing and feeding.  Those changes often happen so slowly that the caregiver partner doesn’t realize how much more care is required over time.  The pressure builds up gradually so it’s hard to see how taxing it becomes to manage everything.

Senior couple video conferenceIn our experience, both seniors and caregivers don’t want to give up control and lose independence.  And asking for help can mean someone coming in and taking over. But that’s not what we see with our clients.  When our clients come to us for help, they actually gain control and assert their independence.  We help them get through to do lists, manage tasks that have become difficult, take care of the little things that never seem to get taken care of and “nag” at them.

We really live by our name – we want to be the Second Me you need to get stuff done. For yourself or your loved one.  We’re not going to tell you what to do or when.  We’ll show up when you need us, do what you ask, and we do it your way.  We don’t come between a caregiver and his/her loved one.  We can do the tasks – like laundry, shopping, meal prep – that actually enable the caregiver to spend more quality time with loved ones.

A caregiver who asks for help is doing a great thing for his/her partner.  It’s a bit of a cliche, but asking for help truly is a show of strength not weakness.

Senior caregiver 2

Karen and her senior specialists all know first hand what it means to support a loved one who needs more and more care over time.  It’s our passion to support families facing the challenges that life just is.

 

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