So many members of our community have experience caring for their aging loved ones. We are grateful to the many individuals who have shared their stories. The lessons shared here might be helpful in your own caretaking journey. You might also find some helpful information on getting involved in the blogs/articles section.
Crystal’s Caregiver Story
“Don’t hesitate to ask for help.”
If you are caring for an aging loved one, you may feel overwhelmed, lost, and alone. Listen to Crystal’s account of caring for both of her parents and what she learned. If you find yourself in a similar situation, there are many local resources available in Larimer County. As Crystal advises: “Don’t hesitate, because people want to help… They don’t want you to suffer. So, find those people, surround yourself with people, and ask for help. Because it’s there. Moreso now than ever.”
Resources for Caregivers
“Being thrust into it all of the sudden was like sink or swim and I felt like I was drowning all of the time”
Anne Evans shares her story of caring for both of her ailing parents at the same time up until their death. She recounts her struggle to find local resources to help her parents while simultaneously needing supports to cope with the strains of being in the sandwich generation as a working mom caring for her parents. Anne recounts that it would have been a “life saver” had her family known at that time about the Options Counselors at the Office on Aging and the Senior Access Points website,
Lesson’s Learned: Phoebe’s Story
Phoebe’s story details her family’s experience in making many hard decisions for her ill father-in-law. Her story highlights the difficulties that families can face when they do not know the wishes of their ailing loved one. She shares the importance of Advance Care Planning when describing the lessons she learned. Looking ahead, for her parents, she wants to know what they want in writing, “and I want to talk about it with my sister before it all goes down. And that’s that. I’m not going to take anything for granted.”
- A Road Too often Traveled – Read this story by Melissa Jensen, Community Liaison for the Colorado Visiting Nurse Association, about the challenges she and her family confronted while facing a terminal illness. Melissa seeks to educate adult children and senior citizens about how to ensure they get the home care benefits they are entitled to during a chronic or terminal illness.
- Planting Seeds of Gratitude and Joy
Joy is not what makes us grateful, but gratitude is what makes us joyful. We need to practice our gratitude more than ever. So how can we become more present and grateful, despite the difficulties we face right now?
- In Time of Need
If you find yourself in the time of need in assisting in a loved one’s passing, reach out to hospice, friends who have experienced death, death doulas, books, podcasts, your doctor or agencies who can and will help you navigate the muddy waters of the dying process
- Open Space, Open Mind
— Groundlessness involves the unknown, the precarious, the fragile, the unprecedented, the changing.
- Resolutions and Transitions
— Spend more time exploring and discussing topics of transition with others.
- A Delight in the Mail
– Host a letter writing evening with friends.
- A Caregiver’s Roadmap
– Read about one daughter’s journey through her mother’s last weeks and the lessons she learned.
- Ten Things You May Not Know About Senior Centers
– How much do you know about your local senior center? Visit one today and enjoy all it has to offer!
- Humanities and Arts Month
– Spotlighting some of the ways Larimer County seniors are experiencing a sense of purpose and connection, from creating artful projects to volunteering.
- Caring for the Caregiver
– The momentous task of caring for a loved one is not to be taken lightly. Your loved one is being cared for, but who is caring for you?