4 steps to remaining calm during caregiving

Bryan Aldrige

February 21, 2011

Adult children are often unaware when they officially become a caregiver for an older parent. The process can take days, months or years, but when they do understand that they must take on the role, author John Shore writes in The Huffington Post that there are some steps that one can take to remain calm in what can be a very stressful position:

1. Embrace the Change. The hardest part may be finally understanding the new responsibility, but caregivers must learn to accept the role reversal. Otherwise, there can be tension and high emotions during a time when a parent needs assistance.

2. Expect Emotional Turmoil. Caregivers and their parents may feel confused at this point in their lives. Seniors may resent the fact that they need help, but the important part is for caregivers to try and keep it from affecting them.

3. Invest in Medical Alert System. While Shore doesn't mention this solution, families may want to invest in a medical alert system as well. This device can enable seniors to send a personal emergency message if they need assistance, so it may help them stay independent.

4. Divide the Disease from the Person. An older adult's emotions may fluctuate, but their cognitive state could also change at times due to dementia.