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Caregiving Chronicles

News and analysis on caregiving topics in MetroWest and beyond.

Caregiving Chronicles

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Caregiving Chronicles will present news and analysis on caregiving topics in MetroWest and around the world, in-depth Q&As with experts in fields related to caregiving and updates and announcements about caregiving resources available in MetroWest from CaregivingMetroWest.org Program Director Douglas Flynn.


National Caregivers Month #CaregivingInCrisis - FAMILY CAREGIVER STORIES: Keeping a loved ones spirits up - from a distance.
By DebraMcDonagh / November 4, 2020

A BayPath's employee friend, who we will call John, is the primary caregiver for his 96-year-old Dad, who we will call Tim. Tim is in his third assisted living placement for various reasons and has lived in his current home for about two years. 

Tim, who was usually not very social with people outside his family, became more outgoing for the first time, becoming involved in activities with other residents, such as participating in indoor activities and taking weekly bus excursions with other residents. His whole outlook and personality became happier. It is the first place he called home, and he frequently expressed how grateful he felt to be living in such a wonderful place. 

As you can imagine, the Coronavirus pandemic has changed his entire lifestyle. After months of being shuttered in his apartment without family visits and discontinuation all social activities, Tim became incredibly lonely. John initiated phone calls and weekly Zoom meetings and had other family join in. Initially, this helped, but as the weeks went on, Tim wasn't happy communicating in this way anymore. 

As the weather became warmer and restrictions on visitation eased, one visitor was allowed for one hour, by advanced appointment, socially distanced and outdoors. Some social activities resumed outdoors as well, on a limited basis. Tim started to look forward to these activities again. 

But now that the colder weather is here and COVID cases are back on the rise, the in-person visits are back on hold. John feels helpless to support their father. 

"John" you are a hero for caring so deeply about your Dad's happiness! There is no easy solution, but as you are doing, we all need to keep trying to find ways to cheer up our older loved ones during the pandemic.

Support someone you know who is a FAMILY CAREGIVER!

The month of November is National Caregivers month. It is a time to recognize and honor family caregivers across the country. The 2020 theme, #CaregivingInCrisis, highlighting the new realities that family caregivers and their loved ones face during these uncertain times.

The national observance is spearheaded by Caregiver Action Network, a nonprofit that provides free education, peer support, and resources to family caregivers.

As a  friend of a family caregiver, you can show your support in a variety of ways. The goal is to help them remain energized to do their best to provide happiness for their loved one. It could be:

  • Delivering their favorite takeout meal
  • Sending a inexpensive gift
  • Playing a game on video chat
  • Do yoga together on Zoom
  • A gift card for a drive-through coffee
  • Listening when they need to release and gently remind them YOU GOT THIS!



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BayPath Elder Services, Inc

Caregiving MetroWest is a no-cost program of BayPath Elder Services, Inc. and was made possible in part by grants from the MetroWest Health Foundation.

Avidia Bank

BayPath Elder Services, Inc.'s Family Caregiver Support Program and Caregiving MetroWest are grateful for the generous support of our community partner, Avidia Bank, which helps us continue to give area family caregivers the information, resources and support they need.