Kristin was a responsible daughter. As the oldest child, she was always willing to help around the house and often pitched in to care for her siblings while they were growing up. Kristin was very close with her parents, especially her mother. As her parents aged, they insisted on staying in their own home and weren’t interested in living anywhere else. Kristin and her siblings visited as often as their busy schedules allowed, but then something changed…
Kristin’s mom became more distant. She was not as interested in going out any more and her circle of friends started to diminish. She gave up many hobbies which in the past gave her such pleasure. She would struggle with little tasks and would find herself forgetting important events and duties and would often ask the same questions multiple times. Kristin’s dad took over many responsibilities including shopping, paying the bills, meal preparation and cleaning, but he quickly found these tasks overwhelming and exhausting.
Kristin stepped in to help her parents, but had limited time available because she worked a full time job and had a young family to care for. Kristin tried her best to balance everything and be the perfect daughter, wife, mother, and employee. She would wake up early to make her children’s lunches and get them off to school. Throughout the day she would check in with her parents and often needed to stop at their house before going home after work. Weekends were spent helping her parents around the house with laundry, meal preparation and special chores. In between, she made time to spend with her children, but didn’t get much time with her husband. Kristin was feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. She gained weight, and her blood pressure and cholesterol increased. In addition, she knew her children missed her and her marriage was suffering.
This situation is all too common, occurring in one of every four households across our county. We can applaud Kristin’s commitment as a caregiver but she needs to be careful that she doesn’t get so caught up caring for others that her own health declines. She needs to adjust her life style in such a way that she can care for her parents, her family and still care for herself. We can help!
The Aging and Disability Resource of Central Wisconsin will offer a six week educational program called Powerful Tools for Caregivers. This program is designed to provide you with the tools you need to take care of yourself. Participants will learn to reduce stress, improve self-confidence, better communicate feelings, balance life, increase their ability to make tough decisions, and locate helpful resources.
We hope you’ll join us for the next session:
Where: Trinity Lutheran Church, 107 N. State Street, Merrill WI 54452
When: Mondays, July 21- August 25, 2014
Cost: FREE, 60+; under 60, $10
Pre-registration is required. Please call Jennifer Clark, Community Health Educator at the Aging & Disability Resource Center of Central Wisconsin at 715-536-0311 or 1-888-486-9545, to sign-up.