Caring for the Caregiver: Ensuring all involved are cared for

By American Standard

Caring for a loved one who is navigating old age or living with a disability can be extremely rewarding but also physically and emotionally exhausting. This can cause stress on the individual providing the support so it is important to remember that self-care is just as important as taking care of loved ones.

According to the Government of Canada*, almost one in four Canadians will be of senior age by 2030, a jump from one in seven in 2012. As our country’s aging population grows, proper care will be in demand, requiring increased support from family members, loved ones, and professionals.

As a caregiver, it is important to use any resources available to help navigate through this journey. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of whatever is needed to make life easier for YOU. It does not mean you aren’t capable – it just makes you human.

• You are not alone: Look for local support groups, meetings and discussions with other caregivers. Learn from others who are experiencing similar situations.

• Lean on your “village”: Depending on your own caregiving situation – whether you are living with the loved one or visiting them on a daily basis. Don’t be afraid to accept help from others: say yes to someone offering a couple of meal solutions; accept the visit from a family member.; have a list of contacts who can provide a helping hand when needed.

• Ensure your peace of mind is a priority: Make time for yourself throughout the day – even for just a couple of minutes: learn to meditate; immerse yourself in good book; take a weekly yoga class. Do something for yourself each and every day to ensure your wellness is not neglected.

Another way caregivers can find relief is to ensure living spaces are well outfitted with the necessary equipment.

A bidet provides superior hygiene and self-care that can reduce the need for assistance, resulting in some welcomed independence. For example, American Standard recently launched the Advanced Clean 100 SpaLet Toilet, a contemporary-designed toilet with an integrated bidet that provides a soothing warm-water cleanse, along with automatic flush settings, an automatic open/close lid and seat that operates with the simple touch of a button. Other options include their Advanced Clean 3.0 SpaLet and AquaWash 2.0 SpaLet seats, offering the same hygiene benefits and ease of a bidet, but in the form of a one-push removable seat designed to fit most conventional elongated toilets. The result? A personalized washing experience for independent front and back cleansing. Bidets are an easy upgrade that can offer
helpful support to the caregiver by providing autonomy for the user. For more information, visit americanstandard.ca.

For those living in a multi-level home, consider installing an electronic stairlift to increase independence and reduce the risk of serious falls. This will also reduce physical strain from heavy lifting.

A comfortable chair that both reclines and lifts with the touch of a button provides a welcoming space for someone to relax, as well as the confidence to safely ease into standing position.

Consider installing a ramp leading to the main entrance, offering a smooth transition from the car to home and an easier solution to be able to get outdoors.

Lastly, have a positive attitude and give yourself some credit.  After all, being a caregiver is one of the tougher jobs out there and chances are, you’re already doing a great job.

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