The COVID-19 pandemic is causing anxiety and worry to millions around the world. Caregivers and those living with older adults may be dealing with those who are experiencing extra worry and stress.
Pictured is Maureen and her children with her mother, Alice. (And by the way, it was Maureen's 43rd birthday!)
In 1992, we placed my dad in a long-term care facility. He was partially paralyzed from a stroke, and we couldn’t care for him at home. After a year of living apart from my dad, my mother asked to move in with me. Despite living in a senior living community, she was lonely. She was only 71-years old. She had some health issues and limited mobility, but she was completely independent. At the time, my husband and I had a 2-year old daughter and another baby on the way. I had a busy and demanding career. The thought of having another person in our home to help out was very appealing.
My Back StoryIn recognition of National Caregiver Month, we are reposting this blog from 2016.
As a caregiver, you have many things to worry about. Food safety shouldn’t be one of them. When choosing a home-delivered meal provider, food safety and quality should be top priorities. Selecting a provider that uses extensive food preparation safety procedures with a safe delivery model will provide peace of mind.
The “cold chain” process is one of the most effective and reliable methods of assuring food safety. This process ensures that food is maintained at temperatures that prevent the growth of harmful bacteria that can make you sick.
The cold chain process transports perishable foods without using harmful preservatives and additives. This continuous cold chain ensures seniors will receive safe and healthy meals.
Here are some questions to ask when comparing home-delivered meal providers:
- Is the food prepared fresh in an USDA-inspected facility?
- Are the meals flash frozen to -19° F?
- Is the food maintained in a cold storage at -10° F until delivery?
- Is the food delivered to homes in specially-designed freezer trucks?
- Do they have specially-trained drivers unpack meals and store them in freezer until ready to eat?
The New Year provides an opportunity for new beginnings! The secret of making resolutions is to keep them reasonable. Don't place unreachable goals on yourself. Think of things you can do to change for the better and to make your life easier.
Resolve for 2017 to take better care of you! To keep more balance in your life, here are five things you shouldn’t do:
1. Over Schedule Your Time.
It’s important to not let others take advantage of your time and kindness. Schedule time to enjoy hobbies and pursue your interests. Consider finding a reliable person a few hours a week to provide respite care, giving you some free time. Professional respite care is also available for longer periods of time. Providing companionship for your loved one will give you a break, making you a better caregiver.
2. Neglect Your Friends.
Caregivers need to maintain a network of support and friendship. Friends can offer words of encouragement, and provide a sympathetic ear. They may also gain wisdom from your caregiver experiences. Activities with friends such as taking a walk, meeting for coffee, or just talking can provide a fresh perspective.
3. View Everything As A Chore.
Caregiving will become less of a burden and more about spending time together if you connect with your loved one. Ask them about their life experiences, including the joys and the struggles. Sharing memories and family history will strengthen your connection and enrich your life.
4. Do Everything Yourself.
Review what tasks you can outsource or delegate. Hire a cleaning or yard service to provide more free time. If you spend a lot of time preparing meals for your care recipient, consider home-delivered meals. There are local agencies (check Eldercare.gov) that offer home-delivered meals targeted for seniors. Many Medicaid and Medicare health plans cover the expense of home-delivered meals.
5. Forget to Reward Yourself.
Being a devoted caregiver doesn't mean forgetting about your needs. Eating well and getting enough sleep aren’t luxuries! Besides staying healthy, it’s necessary to feel good about yourself. Visit your hair stylist, manicurist, or spa to look and feel your best. A well-deserved treat makes for a happier you!
Congratulate yourself on all the things you do each day!
Wishing you a Happy New Year from the GA Foods family.
Remember the excitement of the holidays as a child? Everything seemed sparkly and magical. As adults, a lot of time, money, and energy is spent trying to recapture that childhood magic. But as the holidays approach, you may begin feeling more like the Grinch than the child inside of you.
Caregiving is demanding. Whether you live next-door or 1,000 miles away, it is challenging. It is estimated there are over 34 million people providing unpaid care to ill, disabled, and elderly adults. Caregiving can range from social calls to your uncle to providing direct medical care for a parent. Not knowing how to navigate through the responsibilities can make you feel helpless.
Thanksgiving is the time of year when we express gratitude for all the good things in our lives. But did you know that there is scientific proof that maintaining an attitude of gratitudeall year long can be beneficial to your health?
|Pictured is Maureen and her children with her mother, Alice. (And by the way, it was Maureen's 43rd birthday!)|
My Back Story
President John F. Kennedy issued a proclamation on April 18, 1963 designating the month of May as Senior Citizens Month, later to become known as Older Americans Month.
May's designation as Older American's Month has created a time for us all to pause and acknowledge the contributions of our most experienced citizens, particularly those who served and defended our country. We at GA Foods have proudly served older Americans through Meals on Wheels programs since 1973. And for over 15 years, the SunMeadow® brand has become a mainstay in the knapsacks and cargo pant pockets of U.S. troops on the move.
We are so blessed. Our team at GA Foods has the opportunity to serve some of the most grateful, needing, and loving people who are full of wisdom, spunk, and life. We are regularly touched by thank you notes, stories from our co-workers and the personal interaction we have with those we serve, particularly "our" seniors. The following video is a beautiful window into the lives of those we love and serve.
Be careful. You will be moved.