Family Caregivers Getting Help

Build a Team When Caring for Your Aging Parents


Two neighbors were chatting, and one asked the other how she’s been doing after her mom’s stroke. The neighbor often heard the other neighbor leaving for the hospital very early in the morning. She also knew about the care needs of the dad, who had dementia.

The other neighbor admitted she was feeling overwhelmed. As the medical power of attorney, she felt the pressure of making medical decisions, being on-duty at all hours to help her dad, and being present at the hospital.

She wasn’t sure she could keep up. In addition to the dozens of daily to-do tasks, she had to maintain a calm emotional state and be the leaning post for her parents.

Does this sound familiar? When was the last time you looked at your dad’s care needs in terms of your health? If you’re doing everything for your parents and little for yourself, it’s important to change that. It’s time to build your team.

The Goal of a Team

Why is a team critical? Caring for aging parents is emotionally challenging. Even if they’re always cooperative and upbeat, it’s hard seeing your parents’ abilities change. As much as you don’t want to think of them struggling to do things like cooking their meals, driving a car, or doing their own shopping, the day will come when they need help.

With a team in place, you have an emotional support system in place. Whether your other family members are involved or have professional caregivers, you have someone else available to compare notes, vent frustrations, and celebrate unexpected moments.

A team also ensures you have days off when you need them. If you’re the primary family caregiver and wake up feeling sick, you shouldn’t help your parents out. First, you need time to heal. Second, you don’t want to make them sick. They may not bounce back as quickly as you can.

How Do You Build a Team?

Where do you start? Talk to the rest of your family and any close family friends. You want to see if anyone is willing to help out each month. Your brother may have Fridays off and be happy to spend the day doing meal prep for the next week. Your cousin may be willing to pick up your mom and bring her along on grocery shopping day.

Discuss the things your parents cannot do without assistance. If they need medication reminders, that’s a daily task. If they need someone to do the laundry, that’s a weekly task. Create a care schedule that fits their requirements. Plan accordingly from that care schedule.

When you don’t have anyone to help with your parents’ care needs, call a home care agency. You want to have home care aides fill in gaps as needed. This way, your parents never have to go without, and you don’t have to reschedule your pressing appointments and responsibilities to make sure you’re free.

If you are considering home care in Almena, MI, for an aging loved one, please call the caring staff at Fresh Perspective Home Care at (269) 329-4717. We are here to help!

Dogs for Seniors Home Care in Almena MI

Getting a Dog for Your Senior Parent

As a caregiver for your senior parent, you might be looking for ways to help your parent feel less lonely and oftentimes, that conversation leads to looking into purchasing a pet for your parent. While that should be a long and very thoughtful conversation about the responsibilities and requirements (both emotional and financial) of pet ownership, if you and your parent have decided he would like to purchase a dog as his pet choice, the next step be to discover what kind of dog is the best pet for him!

For a dog lover, many say there is no better companion. Most dogs are loyal, loving and just looking for someone to love them. That said, take the time to discuss all of these areas before you even begin hunting for a dog companion for your parent. If you think you might enlist your home care provider in any of the caring of the pet, it would be a good idea to also connect with your home care provider to confirm what duties she can help with and which she can’t. You don’t want your parent falling in love with a particular dog only to find out after that that breed is not compatible for your parent’s lifestyle.

Breed. Researching dog breeds and their standard temperaments is important as you try to find the perfect dog for your parent. Ask your parent what they are looking for as well. Does she want a dog to snuggle on the couch with her most of the day or does she want a more active dog? Is shedding an issue or is paying for someone to groom the dog more of an issue? While a home care provider can help with many dog care tasks (such as walking, brushing, feeding), it’s important your parent chooses a dog that will not suffer due to her inability to properly care for the dogs needs. Some popular breeds for older adults include:

  • Bichon Friese – a smaller dog that is easy to train and doesn’t shed (but will need routine grooming).
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel – another small breed that is affectionate and happy to cuddle on the couch.
  • Greyhound – one of the few larger breeds that are a good fit for some seniors. While requiring a daily walk, they are very trainable and love to lounge on the couch for the rest of their day.
  • Pomeranian – one of the smallest dogs at only 3-7 pounds, this loving little bundle of fluff likes to play with toys and hang out inside most of the day.

Age. Puppies are adorable but they are also a lot of work! Many elderly people discover that getting an older dog, that is already house trained and is able to go on a walk without pulling the leash non-stop is the best fit for their lifestyle.

Cost. In addition to just the purchase price, something to consider is the upcoming expenses with a dog. Some breeds naturally have more health issues and can really rack up the vet bills. While there is never a guarantee that a dog will stay healthy, knowing which ones are at higher risk for health complications will help your parent make an informed decision. No matter what type of dog is purchased, you and your parent should discuss how he will pay for even routine exams and shots as they come due so that the dog can live a happy and healthy life alongside your parent.

A dog can definitely increase joy and purpose in your parent’s life. If you and your parent are ready to accept the responsibilities that come with pet ownership, then your aging parent will truly be enriched by having a dog as a companion.


If you are considering home care in Almena, MI, for an aging loved one, please call the caring staff at Fresh Perspective Home Care at (269) 329-4717. We are here to help!