If you belong to one of the many Latino families who are facing the prospect of a difficult Christmas because you are caring for your elders and maybe your children, too, this post is for you. Juggling your job, your kids, and older adults, most likely won’t give you time to take for yourself. In fact, you may even feel guilty about feeling tired and hopeless. Well, it turns out you aren´t alone. I´m here to tell you there is hope!
We live in a country, the United States, that sings praises to individuality and once the children are grown and flown, everyone seems to be out only for themselves. Latino families, however, are a little different. We take care of our elders, and bring in our parents and grandparents to live with us, even when we don´t have enough time, money or energy for ourselves. This can cause depression and even financial hardship.
I don´t have children, but I have brothers, sisters, and nieces and while I would like to think they will be there for me when I´m older, I don´t want them to feel like I´m a burden. According to AARP’s recent research, it turns out we Latinos don’t think of ourselves as caregivers, but that caring for our own is just an added role that a family takes on. So, of course, we don´t ask for help when we really do need it.
How and where to find resources and help as a caregiver:
There is help and there are resources for caregivers that I urge you to read and share with others. AARP has developed tools especially for caregivers: The Caregiving Resource Center. The page features financial tools and tips to deal with every part of caregiving to include tips on dealing with the inevitable loss and grief. You will also find plenty of personal stories to help see that you are not alone. You can also ask questions and tell your own story to help others in the same situation you’re in.
The campaign, #AARPcuidar, aims to provide caregivers with support, guidance and information. Because when you are caring for a senior who needs your help – your abuelita or your mami – or your best friend who has cancer, you may forget about yourself. And that can take a toll on your own physical, mental, and even emotional well-being.
We all know of the power of sharing our stories and what better time than at Christmas when families and friends gather to celebrate love and life!
To find out more, call 1-877-333-5885 or 1-888-971-2013 in Spanish.
[Disclosure: This post is sponsored by AARP but all opinions expressed are my own.)