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Tips for Care-Givers

March 15, 1994|JULIE BAWDEN DAVIS

The rigors of care-giving can be stressful. The job is a tough one that involves many tasks, responsibilities and long hours. If you are caring for an aging parent, experts suggest keeping several things in mind:

* Don't try to do it alone. The responsibility for an aging parent is best met as a shared responsibility with other family members. If no other family members are available, ask for help from friends, consider hiring a paid helper or look into community resources.

* If your prior relationship with your parent was painful and non-productive, now is the time to work through the old issues and create a new relationship based on love, understanding and self-acceptance.

* Your parent's needs and wishes should be considered and be a part of any planning on his or her behalf.

* Your needs are just as important as your parent's. Don't feel guilty about taking care of yourself. If you neglect yourself consistently, you will end up angry and helpless and may become ill.

* Stress and tension are a normal part of care-giving. If conflict increases or becomes chronic, however, you may need to seek some counseling.

Community Resources

Here are some of the resources available to care-givers:

* Alzheimer's Assn.: (714) 283-1111

* Orange Caregiver Resource Center: (714) 680-0122

* Orange Outreach: (714) 771-1990

* Senior Information & Referral--County of Orange: (714) 567-7500

* St. Joseph Hospital-Community Counseling Service: (714) 771-8243

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