Don’t hesitate to ask for help
Denise MacDonald, ECM RN Care Manager
Denise MacDonald joined Elder Care Management in March of 2016 as a part-time RN Care Manager. Denise graduated from Long Beach State with a Bachelor of Science in Sociology, with an emphasis in Gerontology. She went back to school to become an RN and was working in Oncology when she was recruited by Visiting Nurses as a Home Health case manager. She then transferred to Hospice care, working in the Bay Area where she implemented and managed the first Hospice program in skilled nursing facilities. Denise was a Hospice case manager and preceptor for 25+ years before bringing her knowledge to ECM. She is currently serving as a caregiver for loved ones in her family.
Caregiving for a loved one can be complex, physically challenging, and stressful. Once the disease has been diagnosed, the problems identified and the care orders given, the largest portion of care falls on the caregiver. There are no written instructions for making all this workable for the long months or years one is facing.
As the physical and emotional demands of caregiving increase, so does the physical and emotional toll on the caregiver. Caregivers are at a high risk for health problems as they tend to eat poorly, exercise less frequently and do not get enough sleep. They are too often stressed and overwhelmed. They report feelings of isolation due to having less time to spend with friends and family. Depression is a significant problem, often resulting from watching your loved one decline and the losses associated with this process.
Asking for help can be difficult for caregivers and many avoid asking for help at all. Creating a support system is a good way to allow many of these needs to be met. Allowing others in with the skills and resources that a caregiver may not have is a great way to relieve stress, isolation, and exhaustion. It will give the caregiver some time to focus on themselves and increase the quality of their life. Caregivers need to be willing to ask for help to help them get through this stressful time.