SourcePoint’s slogan is “Thrive after 55,” but it also offers resources for those who care for senior citizens, regardless of their age.
For example, the nonprofit organization held an hour-long “Caregiver Concepts” class Wednesday filled with ideas, information and advice.
Jessica Adams, SourcePoint’s Caregiver Program coordinator, began the class with a quote from former first lady Rosalynn Carter: “There are only four kinds of people in the world: those who have been caregivers, those who are currently caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers.”
One of the more eye-opening statistics Adams gave was that one-third of Americans 65 and older fall each year, and 60% of those falls occur inside their own home. Making homes safer, such as adding more lighting, removing rugs, and installing ramps and grab bars, was recommended.
Among the toughest things for a caregiver to do is taking away the car keys from someone who can no longer drive safely.
“There is no perfect way,” Adams admitted, although there several approaches to take. It helps, though, that there are alternate forms of transportation within Delaware County like the Delaware Area Transit Agency (DATA Bus).
An important takeaway is that it is common for caregivers to experience burnout from the aid they’re giving, regardless of relationship — partner, parent or loved one. Adams said the solution is self-care, even if it’s taking a half-hour to read from a favorite book. For example, SourcePoint is hosting a free “Hot Chocolate Social” open house for caregivers from 1-3 p.m. March 17 at its south office, 1070 Polaris Parkway, Suite 200 (registration required).
It’s also important to thank others who help with the caregiving, even if they’re related to the senior citizen and it may seem like it’s expected of them.
“Everyone wants to be appreciated,” Adams said.
Other resources include a Family Caregiver Forum (at facebook.com/mysourcepoint click on “Groups”); a Caregiver Coalition that meets quarterly; Powerful Tools for Caregivers six-week workshops; one-on-one consultations; and Caregiver Support Groups that meet at five locations in Delaware, Powell and Sunbury. SourcePoint’s caregiver programs are funded in part by the Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging.
SourcePoint is at 800 Cheshire Road in Delaware. For more information, visit mysourcepoint.org/caregiver or call 740-363-6677.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.