Caregiving & Family Blog

We offer our compassion and valuable resources to help support caregivers. We understand that caring for loved ones comes with many lifestyle changes. The Bristal’s family support resources are designed to help you adjust to the lifestyle changes both you and your loved one are experiencing. For more information on support for caregivers, please view our posts below.

Young Caregivers: A Growing Population

Posted by: The Bristal

Most of us associate caregivers with images of an elderly spouse or an adult daughter. But an estimated 1.3 to 1.4 million youth between the ages of eight and eighteen provide care for a loved one with a health condition. According to the American Association of Youth Caregiving, 72% of them are caring for a parent or grandparent on a regular basis. In a study commissioned by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, 22% of high school drop-outs said caregiving duties were the reason they left school.

For some younger caregivers, the parent or grandparent they provide support to … read more

Posted in: Caregiving & Family
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Tips for Helping a Senior Manage Their Finances

Posted by: The Bristal

Adult children are often surprised to discover an aging parent is struggling to manage their finances. Even those seniors who are active and independent sometimes need a little extra help keeping their financial house in order.

Recognizing the Signs a Senior Needs Help Managing Their Finances

If you aren’t sure how well an older loved one is managing their finances, there are a few telltale signs you can look for when you visit them next. The most common ones include:

1. Unopened bills on the counter

2. Calls from creditors about unpaid accounts

3. Some bills being paid twice … read more

Posted in: Caregiving & Family
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Caregiving and Marriage: 7 Tips for Achieving a Healthy Balance

Posted by: The Bristal

Reportedly, nurturing their marriage is one of the greatest challenges family caregivers encounter when caring for an aging loved one. The stress, fears and frustration that come with being a caregiver can take a real toll on relationships. The non-caregiving partner may feel as if they are being ignored or that they are often on the receiving end of their spouse’s misplaced anger. The caregiving partner may be frustrated at what they perceive is a lack of understanding or support. Finding a healthy balance between caring for a senior loved one and maintaining a happy marriage takes work.

7 Tips for … read more

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Balancing Work and Caregiving: Survival Tips for Adult Children

Posted by: The Bristal

As our population continues to gray, more and more adult children find themselves juggling the demands of a busy career with the responsibilities of caring for an aging parent. The term “sandwich generation” was coined to describe that very situation. According to Care.com, more than 65 million people in the U.S. consider themselves to be family caregivers. 25.5 million of them are trying to balance work with caregiving.

Juggling Work Responsibilities with Caregiving

Research from The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) shows that 21% of employees who take sick days, do so to handle family issues including caregiving. Even if they … read more

Posted in: Caregiving & Family
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Signs of Elder Abuse & What to Do About It

Posted by: The Bristal

It is estimated that one in ten older adults may experience elder abuse. In 90% of these cases, a family member is the abuser. If the senior lives with dementia, abuse by a caregiver is even more common. Studies show that as many as 50% of older adults with Alzheimer’s have suffered abuse at the hands of a caregiver.

The keys to reversing this trend are: understanding the different kinds of mistreatment, being educated about warning signs of each type of elder abuse, and understanding what to do if you suspect a senior is being abused.

Recognizing the Different Types of … read more

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Communicating with Your Aging Parent

Posted by: The Bristal

Adult children often struggle to find ways to communicate effectively with an aging parent. The reasons why range from how difficult the topics they may need to tackle are, to how hard it is for older adults to accept the losses that often occur with aging. While an adult child might be experiencing their peak performance at work and fulfillment at home, an elderly parent may be giving up driving and experiencing problems with their health. They may be trying to maintain control of independence as much as they can. The result can be friction and conflict.

7 Communication Tips … read more

Posted in: Caregiving & Family
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How to De-stress for the Holidays: Senior Care Tips from the Pros

Posted by: The Bristal

The holidays are a special time of year, where families and friends gather together to express their love and gratitude for one another. But let’s face it: They can sometimes be really “special” — as in outright stressful, and not only for caregivers of the elderly, but also, and more importantly, for the seniors in their care.

With a couple of key strategies in place, a skillfully open and flexible perspective, and the pure desire to enjoy each other’s company during this holiday season, it can be an amazing experience. It’s all about knowing how.

There are literally countless tips you … read more

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Talking to Your Child About Alzheimer’s Disease

Posted by: The Bristal

When a much loved parent or aging family member has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, families often struggle to understand what that really means and how to cope. A common challenge is talking with their children about Alzheimer’s. Because the symptoms come and go in the early stages of the disease, kids frequently have difficulty understanding what is going on with a grandparent.

Kids frequently have difficulty understanding what is going on with a grandparent.

The Emotional Challenge of a Grandparent’s Alzheimer’s Diagnosis

Because a grandparent still looks the same, it can be tough for children to understand they are … read more

Posted in: Alzheimer’s & Memory Care, Caregiving & Family
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Discharge Planning: A Guide to a Smoother Transition

Posted by: The Bristal

If you or a senior loved one are in the hospital or are preparing for a scheduled surgery, planning for discharge is a vital part of the recovery process. Utilizing the right resources for follow-up care can be especially important in helping prevent older adults from being readmitted to the hospital.

Good discharge planning can help patients make a smoother transition to the next step of their recovery. Failing to plan can have the opposite effect. One study found that, on discharge from the hospital, 30% of patients have at … read more

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Intergenerational Activities: Bridging the Gap

Posted by: The Bristal

In today’s transient society, families are often separated by long distances. Children move away from home to pursue career opportunities and ultimately raise a family in their new city. Grandparents may only see their grandchildren during summer breaks and holidays. This can make it more difficult for kids to have the opportunity to develop healthy attitudes about aging and to appreciate the positive contributions older adults can play in their lives.

Bridging the Intergenerational Gap

Research shows that children who don’t have enough opportunities to interact with grandparents and other seniors in the family are more likely to have negative feelings … read more

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