Caregiving, a Granddaughter’s Perspective

Caregiving, a Granddaughter’s Perspective

Many of us have cared for a loved one, a friend, a relative but nothing seems as intense as watching disease progress through the aging journey of your beloved grandmother. For many, it is the first time seeing death looming in the future and its undeniable effects, especially of our own mortality. Nobody wants to face that but we all must. We caregivers work so hard to stave of the inevitable. Accepting the sadness we feel can be the first step to doing a good job of caregiving. Recognizing when you need others and utilizing them to help when you need respite can be important for your own health. You need to stay healthy so you can stay strong for the job of caring. Respite is good for both the caregiver and the cared for. Getting a break from each other is important for both of your well-beings. You come back a little more refreshed on both sides. Seeing the same person day in and day out can be tiresome. There are many benefits to having a primary caregiver who knows the ins and outs of the cared for person’s condition and treatment. 

There is also work to be done by the one who is cared for. Don’t be that person that is making the caregiver’s job more difficult because you are holding on to the negativity of why it is happening to you. Aging will eventually get all of us. Aging isn’t a matter of if, but a matter of when. If we live long, we will most likely get some ailment that will need to be addressed. It would be good if we can be gracious to the person who is easing our way through the aging journey. My own grandmother was gracious until the end and I loved her for it. The very hard job was made easier.

Thanks for reading! 😉

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Laura Guluzzy, M.A. Gerontologist/9-11 Survivor

Laura Guluzzy, M.A. Gerontologist

Me, 12 years after surviving 9-11. I believe that I was spared because I had more work to do and a long life to live. I became a Gerontologist so that I could help further the quality of life for today’s seniors.

We Gerontologists believe that the first person to live to 140 is 60 years old today. Are we ready for the aging tsunami that includes you? The choices we make will determine how well we age. Are you ready for old age survival?

A basic understanding of gerontology should be in everyone’s perview so that we will do our best to stay healthy, and independent in our aged years. Eating healthy food including green leafy vegetables help. Staying hydrated with any exercise that you can do, even simply rotating your shoulders and ankles while watching TV can help keep the blood flow, and walking is truly good, breathing fresh air and keeping those joints moving. Swimming is also beneficial. Stay independent by your very mobility through good balance and gait to reduce the possibility of falls.

Are you ready?

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The Aging Push

Sometimes when a person is aging they don’t want others to see they are losing their faculties, so they push friends and loved ones away. I call it the “Aging Push.” As long as they are being cared for by their significant other, or reliable caregivers, it may be best to respect their privacy, and don’t push back.

Coming to terms with aging is difficult for many people and they have to do it at their own pace. It may be sad and difficult for the one being pushed away but sometimes the best you can do is to remain supportive, friendly, kind, and let them know that you are available when needed. “The Aging Push” happens at the beginning signs of dementia as well. They are trying to hide the fact that they can’t remember things, even your name. Watching for signs, working with your doctor, and catching dementia early can help slow the process.

Some may say that they want to push the issue and fight their loved one to remain heavily involved in their life but as a wise man once said, “Don’t go where you aren’t wanted.” When they are ready, they will ask for you. If, in the case of a form of dementia, they don’t, or aren’t able, do what you can before that happens. Think of what you can do today for your aging parent, friend, or associate, before it is too late.

Push yourself and your aging friends to stay social, and involved in life. Have them and yourself join a committee, take a class, or simply go out for lunch. Push “The Aging Push” before it pushes you.

Thanks for reading 😉