From the moment we arrive in life, to every win, loss and all the minutiae in between, parents begin and end each day with their children’s wellbeing as their most pressing thought.
But what happens when that script is flipped when it comes time for the children to look after mom and dad, or have someone else help that process?
A new podcast examines precisely those topics and more.
Presented by Home Healthcare Network (HHN), the Caring For Changes podcast was launched in July 2023 and features three episodes, each ranging between 10 and 25 minutes.
“To date, the feedback has been nothing short of positive including from those in the caregiving community — both professionals as well as family caregivers,” says podcast host, caregiver and veteran radio broadcaster BJ Doyle.
Census data from 2021 notes that B.C. is among the provinces with the highest proportion of residents aged 85 and up; further projections show the population aged 85 and older could triple within 25 years.
The need to have conversations around caring for our elders is more vital than ever – and Caring for Changes is the ideal launching pad.
What to expect
As with any challenging life venture, there may be as many moments of frustration, heartache and fatigue as there may be times of love, compassion and the beauty that comes from genuine connection.
“For family caregivers about to embark, realize that support in any form is vital to the longer view for both the caregiver and loved one and that patience is key,” Doyle says.
How to cope
Compassion, empathy, understanding, flexibility, patience, and a calm and caring nature are all hallmarks of a gifted caregiver, but what happens when our best intentions are stretched to the limit?
Pause, take a deep breath and re-set.
“It may feel like an eternity, but that pause can sometimes turn from one having a reaction to one having a response, with a response being the goal,” Doyle explains.
Trust the process
In many instances accessing those who genuinely need help can be daunting. Outward demeanours can sometimes be difficult to navigate for family members and your loved one may be resistant to any sort of change. They could be feeling isolated and anxious about letting a “stranger” into their home or may have had a negative experience with people they’ve previously hired.
As a full-service caregiving agency, HHN provides an initial assessment of each client’s complete needs, facilitated by in-house professionals, registered nurses and occupational therapists.
Each staff member is matched with clients based on their strengths and abilities in addition to having to complete a criminal background check, receive First Aid certification, pass the WorkSafeBC Privacy and Access Fundamentals course and be bonded, licensed and insured with WorkSafeBC.
“For those loved ones in an early to moderate stage of Alzheimer’s or related dementia disorder on the receiving end of care, you may not always understand what’s going on around you but trust that your primary and secondary caregivers have your best interests at heart,” Doyle says. “And that you are not alone.”
To listen to episodes of Caring for Changes, log on to homehealthcarenetwork.ca/caring-for-changes-podcast.