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All too many times overwhelmed caregivers are physically and emotionally depleted and need to take time to rest and care for themselves. Believing in a holistic approach to caregiver stress and a strong commitment to helping our members find the right solutions, we created this blog to help you connect with others who, like you, may be facing the same eldercare issues and challenges. Feel free to comment, ask questions, and submit articles. Please forward the blog link to your family and friends. They'll be glad you did.

Warm regards,

Patricia Grace
founder & CEO
Aging with Grace

Monday, April 25, 2011

Caregiving and the Family Circle

Today’s guest post comes from SeniorsforLiving.com’s Michelle Seitzer.

Before committing to life as a full-time freelance writer, Michelle spent 10 years in the senior living and advocacy world, serving in various roles at assisted living communities throughout Pennsylvania and Maryland, and leading the charge for Alzheimer’s as a public policy coordinator for the Pennsylvania chapters of the Alzheimer’s Association. She has blogged for SeniorsforLiving.com since November 2008 and currently resides in York, Pennsylvania, with her teacher husband and two Boston Terriers. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

“When our relatives are at home, we have to think of all their good points, or it would be impossible to endure them.” - George Bernard Shaw

Ah, family. Even those of us with small families can identify with George Bernard Shaw’s words, can’t we?

And no matter how much you love them (or not), little else in life tests the family boundaries and challenges your sanity quite like caregiving.
Taking care of another human being is already difficult work for a number of reasons. It can be physically challenging, emotionally demanding, financially taxing, and psychologically draining to be a caregiver. The responsibility can take a toll on your relationships with co-workers, your spouse, friends, and other acquaintances. Throw in the family wrench, and things can really get ugly.
Becoming a caregiver changes things. Caregiving for a family member, and at times, doing so in coordination with other family members, takes this already life-altering change to the next level.

Before I go any further, I must offer this disclaimer: Caring for a family member in this manner isn’t always a recipe for disaster. In fact, if you and your relatives have the level of maturity, acceptance, flexibility, and compassion necessary to approach the situation with grace, then caregiving for a family member can be one of the most rewarding journeys your family has ever embarked on together. It can truly be a time of bonding, growth, and honor. Always keep this in mind as you embrace this new stage in your family’s development – especially in those tense moments that are sure to come.

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