Senior Helpers: Baby boomers are making a list of resolutions and checking it twice

Senior Helpers’ “Top Ten Caregiving Resolutions” of 2012

One in three people will be making a New Year’s resolution during that sixty second descent of the crystal ball in Times Square. In fact, studies show that those who make resolutions are ten times more likely to successfully change their behavior*. This year, Senior Helpers, one of the largest in-home care agencies in the nation, is asking all caregivers to make a New Year’s Resolution list and check it twice!

“Once that countdown is over, 10,000 people will officially hit senior status each day of the New Year,” says Dennis Fleischer of Senior Helpers of Madison. “That means many adult children will suddenly find themselves taking on a new role as caregiver for their aging parent(s). We’re encouraging all caregivers, families, and professionals to take a moment of reflection for the New Year and write down their ‘top ten caregiving resolutions.’ Something as simple as writing down their goals for the New Year really can help them cope emotionally through this challenging stage in their lives.”

Research reveals* that the readiness to change is the single most predictor when it comes to whether your New Year’s resolutions will be successful. Family caregiving has become so main stream that many Baby Boomers are working an average of more than 20 hours per week, OUTSIDE of their normal 40 hour work week. If you’re feeling the stresses of caregiving, here are some resolutions Senior Helpers recommends.

Senior Helpers’ Top 10 Caregiving Resolutions:

1. I am doing my best – no one is perfect – and I won’t allow myself to drown in guilt.
2. Receiving advice from others only makes me stronger, not weaker. It’s okay to ask friends and family, or agencies like Senior Helpers, for guidance.
3. I promise to take care of myself and my health, and to not cancel doctor appointments.
4. I promise to make time for myself, alone. And I won’t hesitate to ask for help to achieve that or feel guilty about it.
5. I will say “no” to requests when I feel my schedule is too full for one more thing.
6. I will always keep in mind that the senior I care for did not choose their illness or disability.
7. I will reach out for help if I feel caregiver burnout or signs of depression.
8. I will make time for my own family members – they’re important, too.
9. I will remind myself that the healthier and happier I am as an individual, the better caregiver I will be.
10. If I’m having a tough day, I will slow down, back up, and try again.

“We believe one of the most important resolutions listed above is for caregivers to not be afraid to reach out for help,” says Fleischer. “Six months into the New Year, only 46% of people are still making good on their promises**. Senior Helpers can help you keep your caregiving resolutions. In-home care isn’t just for full time senior clients…we’re also here to help give caregivers a break, even if it’s just for two hours at a time.”

For more information on Senior Helpers and to find out more about in-home care services, visit or call (608) 729-5365.

Sources: *American Psychological Association, **Yahoo News!, Health Magazine, National Alliance for Caregiving.