Sunday, January 27, 2008

How to Deal With Family & Personal Issues When Caring for Aging Parents

Sheryl Karas, a former Alzheimer's Association consultant discovered that when caregivers called in to locate senior resources the bulk of her work wound up being providing emotional and spiritual support along the way. The issues that came up for family caregivers were very different for each person. It seemed like whatever their unresolved issues were - the family dynamics, feelings about things that happened in the past, beliefs and expectations they carried - THOSE were the things they needed to talk about most.

For many family caregivers, elder care or senior care in not always a labor of love; for some it can be a trap they fell into, an obligation, a task they resent and struggle to survive. In this conversation, Sheryl Karas shares with us when caregiving comes to us by default, how we can change this worst case scenario into one that actually works for all involved; the primary caregiver, family members or siblings, and the senior being cared for.

Sheryl says it's sad and frustrating when a family caregiver says they did not “choose” to be in this rold, they are a caregiver by default. Sheryl goes on to say she usually hears “My brother says his career keeps him too busy. My sister says she’s too busy with her three kids. I just got divorced and I don’t have kids or a career I care about. Mom insists on living at home and refuses to let a ‘stranger” into the house despite how much help she needs, so the job of taking care of her fell to me.” In this situation if pressed, Sheryl might hear that the woman cares about her mom and would feel guilty to say "no" to her... but the truth is that this caregiver doesn’t believe she had any choice but to say “yes.”

The anger and resentment can be so intense, that a caregiver cannot talk about her brother and sister without spitting out the words. In continuing work with the family caregiver, Sheryl finds out that family relationships are miserable because many times guilt is used to try to make other siblings do what they chose not to. Family dynamics are sometimes a disaster and primary family caregivers want someone to come in and fix it the family dynamics.

Caregivers are capable of making a change. No one can force a person to be a caregiver against their will. Our beliefs shape our experience and we always have the ability to change our experience by examining those beliefs and the choices that stem from them.

To contact Sheryl Karas at her blog on

Monday, January 21, 2008

Helping Seniors Choose Best Living Options

Meet Sandra & Gary McElvaney with Real Living, Lifestyles Realty
at 512-751-6352 or visit
Family caregivers and adult children worry about their aging parent or relative living at home alone. Even if both parents are alive and living together, we worry if they are okay. Are they safe? Have they eaten today? Or bathed? Is the house in good condition? Do they need my help? Are they able to continue living in their home?

It may be easier for a family member, living in the same city, to check on mom or dad, but what about those of us who live at a distance?

Knowing what options are best for our aging relative can be challenging. Sandra, a Senior Real Estate Specialist, and Gary McElvaney, Realtors at Real Living, Lifestyles Realty, give good tips they learned while caring for an aging relative.

Sandra and Gary McElvaney speaks to us about what to look for when visiting our relatives, when worried whether they are able to properly care for themselves. You will also hear some options family member or family caregivers have when looking for a place for mom or dad outside their home.

If you are thinking of selling the family home, Sandra and Gary will walk you through "things to look for" or "how to prepare" the home for best showing. They want the family to walk away happy and feeling they got what they deserve.

Thank you for visiting. Carol at

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Texas Family Caregivers Discounts for Senior Services in Austin, Houston, Dallas, San Antonio

Texas employees, working family caregivers, and Texas Seniors!! Get your discounts for elder care services, senior services, and family caregiver help! We've added some quality products and resources that you need when caring for an aging relative in Texas and self help for the caregiver.... Check it out by signing up for our discounts today! I know you will love them. I do!

Do you need a Geriatric Care Manager offering a 30 minute phone consultation at no charge to you? How about a discount on a cruise? That would be nice, a long get-a-way! How about a massage for $39 from Massage Envy? Oh, yeah... I can feel my back purr. Reverse Loan Guide offers $100 off the reverse mortgage loan appraisal, when closing on a reverse mortgage loan with Bob Heckler. And Sandra & Gary McElvaney, Senior Realtor Specialists, offers a 12 month basic Home Warranty package when you buy or sell a home that closes with them.

More discounts on senior services Caregiver Discounts

Introducing the CARE Memory Band! Enjoy a discount on the USB band that's worn on the wrist ~ it can save your life! It organizes and saves you personal medical history. You literally have your health history at hand and the EMS staff or caregiver can access the information needed to expedite care!It's a USB flash drive built into the wristband. See it in the Senior and Caregiver Discounts.

Exciting news for all Texas Seniors and the family who cares for you!

Thank you for visiting. Carol @

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Who Pays for Long Term Care? Remedy for Austin Caregiver Burnout and Texas Financial Help with Elder Care

Introducing Patti Wilikins with Genworth Financial at (512) 970-3428. She can help with Long Term Care Insurance and answer concerns on caring for yourself when getting older.

Who Pays for Long Term Care? In the past 12 months, how many conversations have you had about LTC?

Caring for aging relatives can quickly climb the ladder of stress, depression, and isolation. Family caregivers find themselves consumed with the elder's life! I've watched my own siblings shred apart when worrying about our dad. A hard topic to bring to family meetings is; "When does dad go to the nursing home?" We struggled with that question for a year.

I watched my two older sisters labor with that senior event - well, actually, they battled more with guilt the whole time dad went downhill and finally made the grueling decision to move him to the nursing home. I hated it. I hated the fact we could no longer care for him, we were thankless adult children and could not continue to do for him what he did for us. We then had the horrifying experience watching him resist moving to the "old folks" home.

Although dad passed eight months ago, guilt is still alive in my heart, mind, and soul. How can I come to terms with it? I don't know.

There is a better choice for you though. And there are many options for happier aging relatives. Yes, living out their lives living with you is not one that I'm referring to. Thank goodness. That can be a tough one especially if you work full-time and care for children of your own. Although, it can be a good, temporary option in the meantime.

I remember my dad, while discussing his move to the nursing home, he cried and said to us, "I wish I had done this differently." Yes, me too.

How could he/we have done it differently? Years before a Long Term Care Insurance Representative visited my parents and presented a long term care plan with LTC insurance. I was there. I sat on the living room floor and listened. After his presentation, I begged my parents to PLEASE think seriously about this option. My mom simply replied, "No, I'm going to the nursing home when I can no longer care for myself." Guess what??!! That never happened to her. But it did to my dad. Looking back he GREATLY anguished over losing the option of living his life out at home.

What I profess to seniors and family caregivers is consider your options. Look at all your choices. You may not have to choose just one but know you have options! So, how do you know "what" to do for yourself or your aging relatives? First, plan ahead. Think about how you want to live out your life... and start planning.

Long Term Care Insurance? What's that? If you parent's are like mine, they are unclear what it is, what it does, and how it can be a life saver for them and you, the caregiver.

Patti Wilkins, a career representative for Genworth Financial, speaks about the misconceptions of Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans Administration, and all the topics that get us confused about who's going to take care of me when I get old?

Click here to download…

Yes, there are misconceptions on what it can and will do for the senior and family. It can be confusing and LTC Insurance has changed since there are so many of us living longer. It works well for a lot of seniors. When doing your homework consider the facts; what LTC does and does not do for you.

Call Patti Wilikins today at (512) 970-3428. Ask her to help you understand all your long term care options. She's patient and thorough when helping put forth a plan for the future. Long Term Care Insurance can take the stress out of caregiving and tears out of aging.

Call now! You do have options but only if you plan ahead.

Thank you for visiting. Carol @