Providing care for your aging mother or grandmother can be complicated. Today’s adult children are going through a new kind of family transition with the reversal of roles—from being cared for by their moms to giving care to their moms. In some cases, adult children are caring for their mothers for up to a decade or more. Many also find themselves part of the “Sandwich Generation,” which is defined as “a generation of people who care for their aging parents while supporting their own children,” leading them to be pulled in many directions and to additional stress. Home Instead Senior Care ® of Winston-Salem offers in-home care for your loved ones, not focused on replacing you in your loved one’s care, but in giving you peace of mind so you can detach for a while, focusing on your own care. If you think about it, if you, as the caregiver, aren’t happy and healthy, then you have little to give to your loved one. Shannon Hodge, owner of Home Instead Senior Care ® of Winston-Salem, NC, knew well what it’s like to be a part of the “Sandwich Generation,” when she cared for not only her own family of three children with husband, Travis, but also for her grandmother.
Shannon’s grandmother moved in with the Hodge family after surgery, and Shannon took on the role of caregiver. While Shannon felt and believed she was ready and equipped for the tasks at hand, she wasn’t prepared for the emotional extras that being a caregiver called for.
“When Granny came to live with us, we had three kids, from two years old to a high schooler. I was ready to give granny the best care I could and still keep my home running. It is true that caring for a loved one while also caring for your own health is a challenge; nevertheless, caring for an entire household that depends on you, as well, is a bit overwhelming. It wasn’t long before I was running on ‘caregiver adrenalin.’ When you feel the impact on yourself physically and emotionally, that’s the time when you realize what is happening to you as you give to everyone around you, but stop giving yourself time to re-energize and have to time to yourself,” said Shannon.
Shannon sees what she lived with in her own situation many times each week when she talks to families about the care their loved one needs. “Unfortunately, when you, as a caregiver, realize what’s happening to you from the stress of your role caring for your mom or grandma, as well as your own family, you may be experiencing health issues like anxiety, depression, or high blood pressure. As your loved one requires more assistance, you give more, even though you don’t have any more to give. You know your mom, or in my case, my granny, deserve the best care, so you give and give. There’s an exhaustion that sets in, both emotionally and physically, that is compounded because you stop doing those things that bring you joy, like working out, taking a walk, or just taking time to sit and be still. As women, we give to everyone around us, yet we often forget we have to give to ourselves, and when you are caring for your loved one, the last person you care for is YOU!” Shannon commented. But with a CAREGiver from Home Instead Senior Care® of Winston-Salem, you can give your mom the best care possible, while keeping yourself healthy.
“When you bring a Home Instead CAREGiver into your loved one’s life, you can rest assured that your mom or grandma, or other loved one, is safe, and you have time to do whatever gives you respite. For us to work with a family, we request 8-9 hours per week with your loved one, allowing you to have little, consistent chunks of time when you can unwind, and those hours also help us to build a relationship with your loved one. We focus on helping your loved one maintain and/or regain independence, while providing for their quality of life. Sometimes, as with my situation with my granny, you are too close and need an objective observer to help you see where an outside caregiver could benefit your loved one, as well as yourself. When you have time away as the caregiver, you cherish the time you are with your loved one and enjoy those special moments that one day turn into memories. Home Instead Senior Care® can give you that time you need to rest, and in turn become a healthier support for your loved one,” stated Shannon.
Home Instead Senior Care® is located at 126 Spruce Street in Winston-Salem, NC. For more information, call 336-760-8001 to schedule a free consultation and follow them online at homeinstead.com. The Winston-Salem location also reaches seniors in Lewisville, Clemmons, Bethania, Kernersville, Pfafftown, Rural Hall, Walkertown, Tobaccoville, and Belews Creek.