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The Five Commandments of Family Caregivers in Indianapolis

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If you take care of an older adult in Central Indiana, be they your spouse, parent, grandparent or other family member, you are doing yeoman's work.

If you take care of an older adult in Central Indiana, be they your spouse, parent, grandparent or other family member, you are doing yeoman's work.
 
As a Senior Move Manager in Indianapolis, one who helps elders or their family navigate the complexities of aging in place or moving to a new home, I know firsthand how hard family caregivers work and the unselfishness with which they share themselves.
 
If you're such a caregiver, or you know someone who is, I hope you'll pass this along to them. Here are some things that will help any family caregiver maintain their health, happiness, and sanity.
 
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1) Laugh: It really is the best medicine, and you know it. While things may seem overwhelming, laughing - even when you absolutely, positively do not wish to - can help. Even when you're frustrated and upset, somehow even just forcing a smile on your face can help. 
 
2) Take Nothing Personally: Whether you're assaulted by unkind words from your loved one with Alzheimers or dementia, or even another family member who doesn't seem to properly appreciate your hard work, you simply must remember that it is not true. Your loved one simply can't help himself. And if the nasty words are from someone who should know better, realize that their lack of empathy and appreciation is simply a shortfall of their own personality.
 
3) Put Your Own Oxygen Mask on First: It's a metaphor for what they tell you to do if trouble develops on an airplane, but it's certainly appropriate for a family caregiver. You absolutely MUST take care of yourself FIRST. If you don't take care of yourself, you cannot help your loved one. This means maintaining your health - both mentally and physically - with exercise, rest, nutrition, time off, and whatever else you find that helps you refresh and rejuvenate.
 
4) Have Regular Family Conferences: You do not - and should not - have to do this alone. Conduct regular family meetings so that everyone understands roles and responsibilities, and so that communication remains strong. This will alleviate stress on you from misunderstandings, etc.
 
5) Do Not Isolate: It's easy to allow your role as a caregiver to become all-consuming. Do not cut yourself off from friends and family because "you just don't have the time." Make the time. Find a support group. Whether you live in Carmel, Indianapolis, Fishers, Broad Ripple, Columbus, Brownsburg, or anywhere across Central Indiana, you can find caregiver support groups in our area.
 
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If you're the family member of a senior adult who is planning to remain in their home to age-in-place, please feel free to contact me for information on how I can better organize the living space of your loved to make it safer, more convenient, and more conducive to healthy living at an older age.
 
By the same token, if you or a loved one will soon be moving from the family home and into a smaller apartment, mother-in-law cottage, assisted living facility or similar setting, my staff and I are specially trained and certified as Professional Organizers and Senior Move Managers. We help you plan, prepare, organize, and implement a streamlined, clutter-free, and problem-free move, whether it's across Indianapolis or across the country.

There are several reasons you will need our services:

  • Passing of a family member or friend.
  • Final household clean-outs and gettng the house ready for the real estate market. Act as project manager for home renovations.
  • Home staging for active real estate showings.
  • Moving – Just packing or just unpacking at the new location.
  • Moving or downsizing an aging senior parent to independent, assisted living, or long term care.
  • Want to keep your aging senior parent in their home? "Age in Place". Re-organize and de-clutter. Safety is an issue.
  • Remodeling or Redecorating – packing breakables and clean and polish while unpacking.
  • Just organizing need for an extra pair of hands to help.
  • Divorce or separation.
  • Corporate employee transfers and relocations. No downtime for the employee relocation. Getting settled immediately.
  • Digitzing documents, photos, VHS tapes, slides. Preserving the memories.