5 Tips for Dealing with Stubborn Aging Parents

The aging process is a difficult transition for many – especially those with stubborn aging adults in their life. Not being able to perform tasks or enjoy activities you once loved can be hard to understand and cope with.

However, there comes a time in every human’s life that they must listen to their body and begin to slow down. 

Whether it be to get extra help around your house, or giving up your drivers license, or to get extra assistance when running errands – the time comes for everyone to have to make life adjustments.

During this transition period, it is easy for aging adults to grow agitated, stressed out, or frustrated. You will face many of the same emotions as an adult child as well. 

However, it is important to remember that in some form or another,  your parents need your help and they appreciate your help – although they may not express it.

If you are in this situation, here are some helpful tips on how to deal with stubborn aging parents:

Understand their motivation

When dealing with stubborn aging parents it is important to understand their point of view. Although we have not been through the experience ourselves it is important to show grace and empathy as they begin their aging journey. 

It is a difficult transition to begin losing your independence as your body or mind begins to deteriorate. Although they may not always communicate those frustrations effectively, know they are trying their best to cope with the life changes and that they may just require a little extra patience from you.

Visit them and spend quality time with them

If your aging parents do not live with you but are close by, make an effort to visit them as much as possible. Though it may be time consuming at times, they will appreciate the effort and time you spend together. 

Instead of only visiting when they need help, try to spend quality time talking about things that are important to them as these will be the conversations and memories you recall even after they are gone. 

When aging adults do not feel connected to their family or community, they can develop mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. It is sometimes hard for them to admit they are lonely, or they may feel like a burden when they call you, so be proactive and visit when you can.

Compromise is key!

Sometimes your aging parent will express desires that their mind or body might no longer allow them to do. It is okay. 

Listen to their concerns and validate how they might be feeling. Although it may not be possible, try to accommodate as best you can while still keeping their safety and comfort as the number one priority.  When they hear your point of view, it may help ease their stubborn behaviours.

Allowing them to feel independent is important so consider compromising in certain areas when you can. There are simple ways to compromise and make them feel like they are contributing – maybe you can help accomplish tasks with them instead of just doing these tasks for them.

Prepare for future conversations

Recognize good moments within yourself and your aging parents to have difficult conversations. Aging is not a simple journey, and oftentimes peoples’ opinions as well as health risks change over time. 

Make sure to hear out the thoughts, opinions, and expectations of your loved ones as they age. Be sure to express your own concerns and worries in a calm way and have the difficult conversations early-on so it is less stressful for everyone involved.

Treat your aging parents like adults

Aging has a huge effect on your physical ability as well as your cognitive ability. Although your parents may be aging and changing – it is important that you remember they are still your parents. 

Although it can be frustrating and stressful at times, it is important to treat them as you would any other human being, which means paying them the respect they deserve and not just bossing them around. Show them the same respect you wish to receive in return.

Let us know if you find these tips helpful when it comes to caring for stubborn aging adults. Comment below if you have any suggestions for our readers about how to better care for aging loved ones in your life and let’s connect!

“To care for those who once cared for us is one of the highest honours.”

Tia Walker, The Inspired Caregiver

Caregiver Spotlight

**The names have been changed to protect the privacy of the individuals depicted in this article**

This week we will be introducing a series called “Caregiver Spotlight” where we will interview caregivers and share their personal experiences coping with aging parents and the healthcare system.

Our first caregiver to be featured is Linda, who lives in Ontario. Linda is a mom of three who is the primary caregiver to her aging mother, who will be turning 89 next month.

Her mother is lucky enough to still be in her home after 59 years. When she immigrated to Canada in the 60s, she settled on a house that she is still able to call home today.

However, as independent as she has been, thanks to her good physical health, in recent years it has become more challenging.

“It becomes more difficult to make decisions as a family – some days she is happy in her home and comfortable. Other days she recognizes that she needs a little more help.”

For Linda, coming to a final decision that is discussed between her siblings and mother has proven to be a challenge. Some days are better than others for her mother, especially since the start of COVID-19. 

With community social outings and church services canceled, being alone at home started to make her mother feel isolated and lonely, even in a home that has become such a comfortable place for her.

While children and grandchildren visiting once in a while is great, it is not enough and has become a huge contributor of stress to members of the family.

“It has been very stressful for me. I am constantly worried about her falling, or anything else happening with no one around,” said Linda. “There are not many options other than moving her to a retirement home, or getting her at home care.”

With English not being her mom’s primary language, Linda is also aware of the other barriers to getting her more help.  Care givers would have to speak her language in order for her mom to feel comfortable and understand.. 

While the mother would like to age in place, the adult children have a difficult decision to make. They went to visit numerous retirement communities that were great – they offered activities, spacious rooms, and around the clock care that cannot be matched at home.

However, Linda’s mom was not interested in the services and still wanted to live at home in her neighbourhood that she loves so much.

What should Linda do?

For many people currently in the sandwich generation, it gets difficult to juggle the responsibilities of caring for aging parents while still being a parent to your own children. 

It is easy to become overwhelmed, stressed, and start to experience feelings of guilt for not always being able to be there in person.

“It has caused me many sleepless nights if I’m being honest,” said Linda. “As the primary caregiver I am constantly thinking about her health and booking the appropriate appointments. Then trying to plan the appointments to fit my busy schedule to ensure I can take her. It can really take a toll on my own health at times.”

Being a caregiver is a difficult job. It can be rewarding at times but can add a lot of stress to your life as you are constantly filled with guilt for not doing enough, worrying when you can’t be there. 

“I started to feel like a taxi that was on a strict schedule of bringing my mom to appointments or the grocery store instead of just getting to relax and enjoy our time doing things we liked to do like cook together or tend to the garden.”

It is important to practice self-care and to recognize the signs of when you need help yourself. Talk to your family, talk to a support group, or hire a professional service for a little extra help when you need it.

For Linda, having professionals help with day-to-day activities gave her the peace of mind to know her mom was in capable hands which helped to ease Linda’s load.

With help, Linda was able to spend more quality time with her mom to really take in the moments that matter, instead of adding stress and worry to her day. 

“Asking for help was difficult for me as I felt it was my job or responsibility to handle on my own, but when I did I was able to really enjoy the time I spent with my mom,” said Linda. “And at the end of the day, spending quality time is the most important part as those are the memories I will cherish.”

Healthy Active Living for Your Aging Loved One

Being a healthy and active individual is a goal for many people. Happiness and wellness are often linked to exercise as it has both physical and mood boosting powers.

As we celebrated National Senior Health and Fitness Day last week, we are reminding readers to think about healthy active living for the aging loved ones in your life. Healthy active living based on small changes that can make a huge difference in quality of life.

Physical activity is essential to encourage healthy aging, and simple activities such as walking, jogging, swimming, bike riding, or even dancing can improve your cardiovascular fitness. 

Improvements in fitness will increase your body’s ability to handle aerobic activity, which in-turn reduces the shortness of breath you may feel when your heart rate starts to rise. 

Here are five reasons for aging adults to start exercising today:

Prevent Heart Disease and Diabetes

Regular exercise, (a suggested 30 minutes a day) will start to show positive improvements in your physical health. Exercise helps to improve your immune system which is great for older adults as our immune systems can become compromised as we age. 

With heart disease being the number 1 killer, keeping your heart healthy through regular exercise and diet is key.

Lower Risk of Falling

Falling is a scary thing for older adults and their families. Risk of falling can lead to less independence for aging adults, and after one fall, the recovery becomes more and more difficult.

By improving strength, you lower the risk of a fall by becoming more flexible, coordinated, and balanced.

Social Interaction

Exercise is a great way to form friendships and have a sense of community for older adults. Joining a fitness club, yoga class, or having friends in your neighbourhood who you walk with daily is a great way to get out of the house and interact with like minded individuals. 

Strong social ties are great way to combat feelings of loneliness or isolation for aging adults who may live alone.

Mental Health

The “feel good” hormones known as endorphins are released into your brain every time you exercise. Although it is sometimes difficult to go out and find time to exercise, the benefits to your mental health are immense. 

Exercise is also linked to improved sleep patterns for aging adults who may experience insomnia or troubles sleeping at night. Through exercise, you will see instant changes to your mood, happiness, and overall outlook on life.

Balanced Diet

The common phrase “you are what you eat” is true in many ways. Although fruits and vegetables are not always as tasty, they go a long way in keeping your body functioning at top form.

A balanced diet helps to keep your cholesterol in check, while also keeping your dental health strong which is another area to consider as we age.

Conclusion

Adults of all ages can exercise well to suit their needs, and you can easily make adjustments to any particular exercise or exercise plan to best suit your body’s needs and capability. 

It is important to modify an exercise if it is causing discomfort or pain. The point is to keep your body mobile and active, and not to increase the pains we all start to feel as we age.

At the moment, heart disease is the leading cause of death globally. According to the Mayo Clinic, atherosclerosis, which is a buildup of fatty plaques in your arteries, is the most common heart disease. 

Poor diet, smoking, lack of exercise, and being overweight all contribute to developing atherosclerosis, meaning that unhealthy lifestyle habits are the number one killer.

Many people feel overwhelmed by the number of changes they have to make to reverse old habits. Instead try to think of it as small changes you can make each day, to help improve your situation over time. 

Having a healthy lifestyle does not often happen overnight – take the time, and exercise, to reduce a life of inactivity or less than wise choices in order to get your life back!

When Distance Separates You and Your Loved One

When distance separates you and your family, life can sometimes be more challenging. Staying involved, scheduling visits, and using technology to communicate can present many challenges for families.

In these situations, being prepared is key. Having support through family and friends as well as professional help when necessary is important to ensure a smooth transition for your loved one as they begin their aging journey.

As members of the sandwich generation, you are watching your kids get older while your parents are simultaneously doing the same. It can be a difficult transition for everyone, as you start to see your parents age and they can no longer do the things they were once able to do.

Whether it be that age starts to catch up, or as they start to see a chronic illness get worse, it can be a stressful and overwhelming time for an adult child – especially those who live a distance away.

If you live out-of-province or abroad, adult children can often feel helpless when it comes to their aging parent(s) healthcare. 

Because you are not around to help with everyday tasks such as grocery shopping or taking them to appointments, you can start to feel isolated or guilty about not doing enough.

Thanks to our service – we can alleviate the stress and guilt you are feeling!

With iAccompany, you can stay actively involved in your parents’ healthcare from wherever you may live. By creating an online profile and booking appointments through our mobile app or website, you can take charge even from a distance.

Once you’ve booked online, one of iAccompany’s compassionate, qualified, and experienced nurses will accompany your loved one to, during, and from their appointment – including sitting in on the visit with the doctor.

This ensures that the nurse is able to record what transpires between your loved one and the doctor – leaving no room for miscommunication.

When distance separates you and your aging parent, it can often be difficult to get all the information. Whether they forget instructions, or leave out key details, our written report ensures that you are well-informed and able to make decisions alongside your family when it comes to your aging parents’ health.

iAccompany is a great tool for families who would like to stay connected through our secure online portal, which can be accessed by family members all over the globe.

If you have siblings that also live away, iAccompany retains all bookings and reports in one secure, convenient location which can be used for future reference by family members who are granted access. This makes it easy for everyone to be actively involved.

Our aging journeys are something everyone in life expects, but no one is really prepared for as it happens.  It doesn’t have to be that way.

With iAccompany, you can be involved and informed when it comes to your aging parents’ health from wherever you call home. 

Say goodbye to the feelings of guilt for not doing ‘enough’, and instead use iAccompany to make the distance between you feel smaller and stay connected in a meaningful way.

Happy International Nurses Day!

As we celebrate International Nurses Week, we would like to take this opportunity to thank the incredible team of nurses we are lucky to have as a part of our team.

iAccompany nurses have an important job of connecting the doctor, patient, and family members together.

When using iAccompany, you get the peace of mind knowing that your loved one is in capable and professional hands.

When you cannot attend appointments yourself, you are often left feeling out of the loop. The information given by the doctor does not always get back to you in full and feelings of guilt can quickly creep in.

With iAccompany, we eliminate those feelings by keeping you informed with our detailed written reports that you can access following the appointment.

Our nursing professionals will not only provide accompaniment for your loved one, but also peace of mind for you.

By having a professional in the room taking notes of what is discussed, you will feel relieved to still be involved in the conversation. Prior to the meeting, you have the opportunity to pose any questions through your iAccompany profile, allowing the nurse to cover all the information you need to proceed with helping your loved one on their aging journey.

iAccompany nurses are qualified, vetted, and passionate about helping others and will treat your loved one as their own. 

One iAccompany nurse, named Sandra, really enjoyed her experience with iAccompany.

“It was a chance to spend a lot more time with a patient. Nursing is a very fast paced profession now – it is very task oriented and there isn’t a lot of time to really be with someone,” said Sandra. “We are nurses, it’s a compassionate profession and that is the experience I was looking for when I signed up with iAccompany.”

The written report allowed Sandra the opportunity to interact with the client, and also be a nurse. Taking notes, understanding the doctors’ instructions really gave her the chance to do her job – which made her feel complete in the experience. 

Another iAccompany nurse, Sarah, also appreciated her experience as she got to connect with her client on the way to the doctors office.

She could definitely see the benefit of having an experienced nurse provide the accompaniment as it helps the families who cannot be there. 

“iAccompany gives families peace of mind to know someone is there that wants to be there, to help them fully understand what transpired in the appointment.”

Knowing all the facts better prepares you to make decisions in the future based on the outcomes reported by your iAccompany nurse. Having those files available through the iAccompany secure link also allows you to go back and review past appointments and better understand the progress your loved one is making.

We thank our incredible nurses for the service they provide to the individuals they accompany.

iAccompany offers enhanced care through our trusted nursing professionals who are passionate about providing the best care possible. Our service is built for busy people who still want the peace of mind that our nursing professionals bring.

Thank you to all the caring, qualified, and compassionate
nursing professionals at iAccompany.
We appreciate you and hope you have a great 
International Nurses Week!

5 Tips for Strong Mental Health

As we celebrate Mental Health Week by the Canadian Mental Health Association, we will discuss five tips for taking care of yourself. 

For family caregivers who may be the primary caregiver for a parent, grandparent, child, spouse or any other family member, these tips will be especially handy.  Caregivers experience higher levels of stress due to their many responsibilities.

According to Today’s Caregiver, depression and mental health problems are consistently higher among caregivers than among their non-caregiving peers. 

In order to reduce stress, you must first be able to recognize it. Make time to be in touch with yourself, whether it be through meditation, journaling, or taking a walk with yourself in nature.

Give yourself time to physically and emotionally recharge your battery, as stress can take a toll that may have long-term consequences if left untreated.

Here are five ways to take care of yourself:

1. Exercise

Exercise doesn’t always mean waking up early and going to the gym while consuming a “Rocky-like” diet. If you don’t have the time or energy to go to the gym, commit yourself to just walking outside daily. 

Whether it be for 15 minutes or an hour, be okay with taking that time for yourself to unwind and give your body a well-deserved walk. As the weather gets warmer and the days longer, it makes it even more worthwhile to get out and enjoy the warmer temperature while we can. 

Taking time to connect with the outdoors, absorb some Vitamin D, and breathe in fresh air, can really reset your mood. A daily walk will help your physical and mental health all in one. 

2. Relaxation practices

There are many types of relaxation techniques that can help you manage your stress better. These techniques target your mental health and help to connect your body and mind.

Finding which practice works for you is important, as they can help you cope with your everyday stressors in a more effective and positive way.

Common techniques include deep breathing, mindfulness, massage, yoga, meditation, visualization, and acupuncture.

It is important to note that in order to see the benefits of relaxation techniques, you must actively practice them. It takes time to see results but in the long run, such a  practice will be very beneficial for family caregivers experiencing  stress. 

3. Lighten your load

When possible, look to outsource your list of duties to those around you. Be comfortable delegating responsibilities and really communicating your needs. 

If you have children who can help with household chores, enlist their help. It is important to feel like you have a good support system to help keep you at your best.   Sometimes helping to lighten the load by even doing one simple task, can make a huge difference for a stressed-out caregiver.

If you really feel your mental health suffering, look to professionals. Giving yourself peace of mind knowing you are in capable hands can go a long way in helping your mental state and relieving the guilt you may feel for not doing it all.

4. Eat your brain foods

You have probably heard the phrase “you are what you eat” before. Although your busy schedule might suggest you just stop at the drive thru on the way home, that meal will not offer you any health benefits physically or mentally.

When taking time for yourself, challenge yourself to eat healthy meals that feed your brain power. Incorporating fruits and vegetables into your everyday diet is a great place to start.

People generally resort to eating too much or eating too little when under ample amounts of stress. Eating too much can cause weight gain and health issues, while eating too little does not provide your body the energy you need to keep up. 

Diets full of sugar and processed foods can contribute to poor mental health as it causes inflammation in your body and brain. Instead, look to eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes as they offer great brain benefits. 

5. Get your beauty sleep

Sleep has an incredible impact on our overall health and wellbeing. As many people can attest, feeling tired and groggy is a sensation that many have experienced, and most times no amount of caffeine can make a difference.

Make time for yourself to recharge your body the best way possible: by getting a good night’s sleep. 

Like drinking water and breathing, sleep is an imperative part of being human as we cannot live long without it. Through sleep, our bodies have the ability to repair while allowing our brains the ability to process information. 

Poor sleep leads to mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, as well as a weakened immune system. So one thing you can do, if nothing else, is to ensure you are on a good sleep schedule.  One that lets you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day.


So there you have it – five tips for giving your mental health a boost. We hope you look to incorporate these tips into your everyday life and start to make them a daily practice.

If you wish to see long-term results and improvements in your mood and mindset, start making changes to your lifestyle today and put yourself first.

If you are not at your best personally, you cannot give others your full love and attention. So take care of yourself and recognize the warning signs when you need to rest and recharge.

Dilemma for Family Caregivers Everywhere

‘Quit or get fired’ is a dilemma for many individuals in the sandwich generation. 

The constant responsibilities linked to raising your children, caring for your elder parents, and juggling a full-time or part-time career can be overwhelming.

It is a difficult choice to make between caring for your loved ones, while also being able to perform well at work and thrive in your career.  It can become exhausting which is why it is important to recognize the signs of burnout and act accordingly.

Members of the sandwich generation are often faced with challenges such as:

  • Making time to take care of yourself on a physical and emotional level
  • Balancing time with your partner or spouse 
  • Spending quality time with your children or family
  • Ensuring your aging adult gets the care they need to keep them healthy and happy
  • Performing well at work while looking for career advancement or promotion
  • Keeping up with bills and staying on budget
  • Dealing with the stress and guilt you may feel about not having the time or energy to accomplish everything

For aging adults who may have chronic or cognitive conditions, doctor’s appointments and lab tests can become overwhelming. Eventually your sick or personal days run.  The constant juggling to assist aging loved ones can put a real strain on your relationships and productivity at work. 

Studies done by Statistics Canada states that 1 in 7 caregivers reduce the hours they work. Half of them reported missed days at work in order to get their parents, kids, partners, or siblings to medical appointments. This can create a real dilemma.

Although it may sound overwhelming, those in the sandwich generation have ways to combat these dilemmas. 

Communicate your needs

Understanding yourself is an important part of being a caregiver. Being able to recognize when your daily dilemmas are taking a toll on your mental and physical health should be your number one priority.

Being able to communicate your stresses, concerns, or feelings of guilt in a safe space is important. Be sure to communicate your needs as a way to vent or a way to get advice on the challenges you are experiencing.

Talking to your parents, partner, children, or siblings is a great way to ensure everyone is on the same page and understands that you are doing the best you can. In most cases, your loved ones are willing to lend a helping hand – you just have to ask.

Share responsibilities if possible

You are not superwoman/superman! Although we may experience moments where we seem to be doing it all, it often does not last for long. It is easy to spread ourselves thin and experience anxiety, or depression when calendars get full or task lists get too long.

It is okay.

Seek help from your family who can help. If you have siblings, see if they can help with your parents’ care. Seek outside sources who are qualified and ready to help. Ask your kids or partner to help with tasks around the house – many hands make light work.

This can help lighten your load and give you some time back to rest and recharge. It’s not an easy thing to be in the sandwich generation, but taking on too much can leave you trapped in a list of challenges.

Ask for help

Enlisting help from outside sources is a sign of strength. Having the ability to recognize when you are burnt out, or realizing how different your life could be if you had a little more time is important!

At iAccompany, our founders experienced this dilemma themselves. When they could no longer provide care for their aging parents while juggling their work responsibilities they searched for a solution that fit their needs. When they didn’t find one, they created one. 

Now, iAccompany serves as an easy solution for family caregivers that need to get some time back for themselves. Our service provides accompaniment for aging adults –  a qualified nurse will accompany them to, during, and from their doctor’s appointment. 

When they are returned home safely, you will receive a full report providing the details of the meeting. With iAccompany, you do not need to leave work early, instead you can hire us at the click of a button and still be a huge part of your loved ones healthcare. 

Are you a caregiver stuck in a dilemma yourself? Visit our website and learn how we can help!

The Importance of Advance Care Planning

On April 16 we celebrated National Advance Care Planning Day in Canada. This day is celebrated to promote conversations about your wishes and values for your future healthcare.

It is best to think about Advance Care Planning (ACP) when you are young and healthy, and have more control over your future plans. When you are young, you have the time to really reflect on what is important to you, and express to those closest to you what your aging journey looks like to you.

With ACP, you can decide if keeping your independence and aging in place is important to you, or if a long-term care home better suits your needs.

Advance care planning is all about recognizing your options early on. Of course in some instances, sickness and/or injury can happen abruptly giving you less time to consider options. That is why ACP is so important to think about when you are healthy.  You can make clear decisions on your behalf. 

Planning for your health and personal care is a way to document your wants and needs without putting people in difficult positions.

Leaving it to your family and friends is not the best idea as they are not mind-readers. What works for them or how they picture their lives as they age may not align with the values and beliefs you hold true.

Therefore, being able to communicate is crucial in making sure your aging journey plays out the way you intended. Of course there will be obstacles and roadblocks along the way, but having a general plan always makes the future path a little less scary.

It is human nature to assume we have more time. But in reality, time goes by quickly sometimes surprising us as we age.

It is good practice to plan ahead, lay out your options, and have your opinions heard. Long-term care homes or retirement homes are not for everyone – so speak your truth and discuss what is important to you personally as you begin your aging journey. 

If aging in place is your goal (and staying in your home that holds so many of your memories is the path you wish to take), let that be known! Keep documents and plan how you see your final days playing out. If it is at home surrounded by your family and friends, be comfortable with communicating that to your loved ones.

When considering your personal future, or as a family caregiver, it is important to do your research and know all your options. Many services, such as iAccompany, help support independence for aging adults, while still providing them the care they need as they age. 

With iAccompany, we give families more options when it comes to the care of their aging loved ones. If aging in place is important to you, or a family member you know, be sure to reach out to us directly at www.iaccompany.net.

You may be sitting at home thinking ‘I’m still young and healthy, why would I need to do advance care planning?’ 

Think again!

Life is unexpected. Things happen that we have no control over, but we can control how we react. Advance care planning gives your loved ones peace of mind because they will be confident that they are doing what you request. 

By communicating your needs, you allow them to make decisions on your behalf that they know you will be comfortable with – which will put them at ease in any situation.

So don’t hesitate – start thinking about your future now by reflecting and communicating what matters most to you on your aging journey. 

Asking for Help: A Sign of Strength

Asking for help is a challenge for many people. Whether it be at work or at home, it is human nature to want to accomplish things on our own – even when it becomes overwhelming. 

We often feel like it is a sign of weakness, or we do not know how to properly articulate how someone can help effectively.

Either way, as a caregiver, the ability to ask for help is a necessity at times.

Family caregiving is a stressful and demanding job. As we get swept up in our everyday responsibilities, it is easy to forget to take a step back, to take a deep breath, and even to ask for help.

As life progresses we begin to take on new challenges often times spreading ourselves too thin. In these moments, we must check in with ourselves and recognize when our mental and physical well-being is being put on the backburner in order to fulfill our caregiving duties.

Many caregivers are not prepared for the number of responsibilities they take on as health issues can ramp up quicker than one would expect, leaving you no time to really process the extra work on your plate.

In these moments of stress, guilt, resentment, and loneliness, it is important to realize there are people and services available to help.

Here are some people you can reach out to when your caregiving responsibilities are becoming too much, or you are feeling alone. It’s OKAY to get a little extra help – we all need it sometime.

  1. Family or Friends

Your family and friends are often the people you trust the most. Usually they can tell when you are stressed or overwhelmed, however, you cannot rely o them for such insight at every turn. The ability to articulate our feelings and what we need when asking for help is an important skill.

Look to your family or friends and have open conversations with them about the responsibilities you are having a difficult time juggling. It is human nature for them to try and give you advice or try to solve your problems through conversation but that may not always be what you need. Sometimes, you may just need to vent. Their patience and listening skills may be enough to help you in that moment. Be able to communicate your needs, whether it be physical or emotional support, and then ask for help in a simple and concise way. 

  1. Care Services

In some situations the help you need goes past personal relationships and must become professional. There are many services out there to help aging adults and whether it be physical or cognitive decline – sometimes the care needed is more than you can give.

Like your personal wellbeing, it is important to understand when the next step needs to be taken and when professionals need to become involved. Asking for help should never be a sign of weakness or embarrassment, but rather a sign of strength. Recognizing the signs of decline or burnout in yourself is important, and enlisting help when you need it is imperative. Care services are often flexible and accommodating to the client’s specific needs – making it a great option to give you the peace of mind to know your loved one is safe, comfortable, and in capable hands.

  1. Support Groups

Support groups are a great way to connect with people in situations similar to yours. Whether you go and meet with people in person or visit online forums to have discussions, it is a great way to alleviate some of the stress weighing you down.

By discussing issues with like-minded individuals, you have the opportunity to vent some of your stressors. You can also appreciate the stories of other people in similar situations and learn from their experiences. They may have advice for you that can be beneficial to your situation as well. Whether you participate in the discussion or not, sometimes just knowing you are not alone in your feelings or situation is enough. 

We hope these resources can help you when you feel stressed or overwhelmed. 

Family caregiving is not an easy task, and it is often a role we take on without question or time to think about how it will affect your daily life. 

Understanding your boundaries and limitations is important in anything you do. Remember that your mental and physical health should always be your number one priority. If you are not healthy and feeling your best, you cannot help others to the best of your ability. It is as simple as that!

My Experiences Working with Aging Adults

Guest Writer: Jackson Charron

Hi, I’m Jackson and I am the Business Development Specialist at iAccompany.

For the past eight years, I have loved my time working with aging adults in numerous roles. My goal is to always take a person-centered approach when helping aging adults, and I am driven to make sure seniors get the care they deserve. 

Growing up I spent a lot of time with my grandfather and beautiful grandmother. We would bake every weekend, have sleepovers, and watch TV while I ate an entire tray of jello. 

I won’t say she is the woman who inspired me to work with aging adults, because she looks and acts so young. Growing up with my mother and my grandmother, I was raised around a lot of respect, compassion, and love. These are values I hold close to me when providing care or helping others create a solid care plan for their aging loved one. 

I started working with aging adults in a personal care home, where I planned activities for and got to know many of the residents.

I wasn’t going to work everyday – I was going to spend time with 50 of my best friends. Throughout my time working in long-term care, I made a lot of long lasting relationships with the residents and their family members. 

One day, a really good friend of mine that I cared for, Jack, was being discharged to another facility. We decided to exchange numbers and keep in touch. About six months after Jack moved out of our facility, his sister and brother-in-law asked me if I would be willing to help their brother Jack get to Arborg, MB for one last weekend of fishing. 

Due to his stroke, getting 50 feet from a care home is already a mission in itself, but I agreed to help and we had a great weekend. Now that I am working for iAccompany, I continue to apply the same values I did as a full time caregiver.

Having first-hand experience working in a personal care home, and creating lifelong relationships with the residents and their families, has enabled me to learn much along the way.

One of them is that nothing beats the family home that their children were born and raised in. 

One family had so many special memories from their Wolseley home, that they created a picture book and tried to have it published. Their father and I really enjoyed that book and reminiscing on those memories. 

I was sad to move on from my caregiving role but I was welcomed into a new role with iAccompany. My transition from caregiver to business development has been great as I still get to assist the aging community – just in a new way. 

My new role allows me to use my knowledge and understanding of long-term care to help give aging parents and their families more options. 

What I love about iAccompany is that the service provides aging adults the opportunity to stay in the homes they love so much, and to me that is priceless.

With iAccompany, I am able to assist aging adults and their families in navigating their journeys. I do this by finding the right solutions needed for aging-related challenges – it is a great opportunity to help families and seniors from all walks of life and I am so grateful for that. 

At iAccompany, we know through personal experience the difficulties associated with being actively involved in the healthcare of aging parents. After looking for help and not finding a solution, we came to realize we needed to come up with our own solution for the problems we faced. 

We designed a custom-built application, where we can facilitate interactions between the patient, doctor, and a nursing professional to improve the quality of medical appointments.

I personally want to see seniors thriving and living the best life they can, even with all the challenges life presents. Thanks to all the aging adults that I have had the pleasure of working with, their ample years of wisdom have made me the person I am today.

If you would like to learn more about our service visit www.iaccompany.ca, or email me directly at jcharron@iaccompany.ca.  I would be more than happy to have a conversation and help guide your family in the right direction on your aging journey.

If you know someone who is reaching a stage in their life that is posing more challenges, let’s work together to find the best solution for your loved one. Aging or the progression of illness is not a path you need to walk alone – iAccompany is here to help.

Check us out if you would like peace of mind when
you can’t be there for a loved one’s medical appointment.
Our nursing professionals take away all the anxiety of the unknowns,
and we put you in the room with your loved one when life makes it difficult.