Mi familia is the wind that lifts my Fly-ness, because without their support, I would not be able to B-So-Fly.  De verdad que son mi inspiración. And, the beautiful thing about that support is that it’s mutual.  Being there for loved ones is definitely something that I have seen and learned from first hand and through several generations. He tenido el privilegio de cuidar a un padre y hasta he visto a mi abuelo cuidar a su mamá, mi bisabuela.

In my family and in many Latino families, taking care of our aging parents is part of our nature and not a job we outsource. Así somos los Hispanos, por lo general no creemos en poner a nuestra familia en una casa de ancianos .In fact, according to research conducted by Evercare and the National Alliance for Caregiving, one in three Hispanic households include a caregiver. That’s a lot of love!  But, caring for others can be a lot of ache, too, especially during this time of the year when stress is heightened. Whether that stress is financial or logistical, it is definitely real.   A new Lightspeed Research survey commissioned by AARP and the National Ad Council found that lack of money was the biggest source of stress during the holidays. The survey also found that family togetherness was one of the top things caregivers looked forward to the most during the holidays.  Lo importante es que estemos juntos durante los días festivos como la navidad sin embargo el estrés de no tener suficiente dinero es casi inevitable.

aarp

Photo credit AARP

 Click here for ten tips for caregivers during the Holidays. 

I have to say that I totally understand both of those stress factors from being a caregiver myself. I took care of my dad after he became ill.  A veces no se como lo hice. Habia unos momentos muy difíciles. I also saw that stress when my grandfather took care of my great grandmother who lived about an hour across the border in Mexico. She did not have modern electricity in her home. This meant that food needed to be taken at least twice a week whenever she chose to not stay over with my grandfather or another family member. I have to say, it was a wonderful act to witness. I am fortunate to have met my great grandmother who lived to be 114.  The example of my grandfather guided me when I took care of my father. Today, I am reminded of those acts when observing my mother as she looks after my grandmother (who is 80 going on 30, ha!). Their experiences have provided me with a wealth of information for myself much like AARP can do for caregivers who do not have a person to turn to for advice.

Four Generations of Care

Four generations of caregiving through my grandmother, mother, myself and baby.

AARP offers a wide variety of resources for caregivers; including a program that gives caregivers the option to share their story as well as a nationwide database of senior-care providers including consumer reviews and cost information. Click here to learn more about AARP or call 1-877-333-5885.

I recently discovered what AARP has to offer in terms of tips and resources for caregivers and even though I spend more time caring for my new bebito these days, I can still remember the role I once had as my father’s caregiver. I am grateful to find resources like the ones provided by AARP because in the future (hopefully a future many years away) I will take to them to be an even better caregiver for the absolutely amazing super woman I get to call mamá.

My family is my source of felicidad and naturally that joy sometimes also comes with pain.  It’s the circle of life!  If we want to experience love, we must endure the journey. Sometimes that journey includes illness, growing pains and even loss. But I can tell you from personal experience that even though sometimes it feels like caring for someone is the hardest job in the world, it also has its rewards, especially if your loved one passes on. I have a great sense of peace when it comes to the memory of my father, a big peace made up of all the little things I cared to give.

If you are a caretaker or if you know someone that needs some direction, especially if you feel overwhelmed, I advise you to check out AARP’s Circle of Life / El Círculo de la Vida for some caregiving assistance information. The resources are also available in Spanish. Click here or call 1-888-971-2013.

This is a sponsored post by AARP. All thoughts are my own.

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