Caring for Your Older Parents

holding seniors' handAn educational seminar titled “Caring for Your Older Parents” will be presented by Katie Matheny and Sarah Walstra at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 12, at the Oak Park Arms retirement community, 408 S. Oak Park Ave.

Nearly 44 million American adults provide care for an older friend or family member, and with more Americans living longer, adult children are now more often left in a position where they have to be caregivers for their parents.

Whether one’s aging parents live at home, with their adult children or are in the care of others, taking on the role of a care giver for a parent or loved one can be stressful and at times difficult to navigate. Caregivers devote an average of 20 hours a week, but many agree it often feels like more.

Caregivers can help combat stress by:
•    putting their physical needs first (eating and sleeping well, and exercising)
•    connecting with friends (isolation increases stress)
•    asking for help
•    calling on community resources
•    taking a break (considering respite care or adult day care centers)
•    finding time to relax
•    dealing with feelings (talking with friends and family)
•    getting organized
•    learning to say no (it isn’t possible to do everything)
•    staying positive

In this seminar participants will learn about and discuss issues of caring for an older parent, such as care giving from one’s strengths, advocating for oneself and others, and ways to cope with the stressors of care giving.

Matheny and Walstra are graduate students from Dominican University who have joined the Oak Park Arms as interns. They currently assist with the Adult Day Care program and Home Care.

Oak Park Arms Senior Living is a rental retirement community which provides senior housing in the form of independent living. Furnished apartments are also available for a short-term stay – a weekend, a week, a month or longer.

The seminar is free and open to the public. For more information call 708-386-4040.