Caregiving for your aging parent, spouse or significant other

Posted on May 23, 2012


Nothing can create stress and conflict in our lives like taking care of an aging parent or spouse or a sick child.  Today we will focus on elder care.  On a beautiful spring morning, “Alice” (name changed) rises to catch a ride from her daughter’s home to the local Senior Center to attend the adult day care center.  The schedule is posted and she is greeted by the smiles of April, the Activities Director; Leslie, and Sharon.  There are comfortable chairs lined up throughout the huge room as well as seating at tables so people can eat and talk.  Puzzles are in the back corner and a large screen TV is one one wall.

This warm inviting environment may not be home but it is a place where elders are respected and cared for while their loved ones are at work.  Lunch is offered and birthdays and other events celebrated.  Games promote agility and balance and challenge physical and mental strength.  Bingo, crafts, volleyball, bean bag toss and Wii bowling are all very popular and teams form to compete against one another.  The seniors and staff encourage each other but relish the joy of winning.

No one wants to think about the downside of aging, potentially needing care from other people.  Often, adult children take on the responsibility for taking care of aging parents or one spouse takes care of the other.   Once caregiving begins, caregivers need to ensure their needs are met.  Some of the following tips can reduce conflict and caregiver stress:

  1.  Taking turns with another responsible adult.  An adult child who lives locally should be called upon to help an elderly parent caring for their spouse to commit to a couple of hours per week at minimum.
  2. Adult Day Care is another option.  There are Adult Day Programs in Harris County that offers meals, activities, and other services.  This also provides the aging parent their own outlet to interact with and meet others.
  3. In-home care.  Unless medically necessary, this option is usually private pay.  BrightStar specializes this this type of care and information is below.
  4. Utilizing Meals on Wheels takes care of one meal.
  5. Get help.   Resources for Seniors exist in all parts of Harris County and can provide information.
  6. Hospice can also help an older adult at the end of life with compassion, dignity, and respect.  Their team oriented approach and caring commitment will help you as well as your loved one cope with end of life issues.  Please realize that Hospice has become a business and  you need to do your due diligence.  Get help from a loved one or friend to help you choose the best one for you.
  7. Explore assistance available from the State of Texas at the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services.  They have a lot of information, including:

As a caregiver, taking care of yourself is a responsibility that ensures that you will have the energy and stamina to caregive for extended time while at the same time offering a quality of life to your loved one.  For more information on resources available to you and those in your care contact the Harris County Area Agency on Aging 832-393-4301 or visit

Can your loved one stay in their home or, with you in yours?  With the baby boomers aging this question is asked thousands of times a day and we know that Medicare only pays for some of the care that people need to stay out of institutional facilities.  And, Medicare and Medicaid are getting more restrictive on what they will cover due to budget constraints.  There are other resources to assist in keeping us in our homes as we age and that is private duty home care.  BrightStar specializes in this kind of care and we would be honored to be able to help you or a loved one.

BrightStar Care of Downtown Houston

BrightStar is an in-home health care company designed to help, give us a call at 832-730-1255.

All of our services are personalized to fit the specific needs of the client. We work with clients and their families to design a customized care plan, and we match each client with a qualified, pre-screened caregiver.

From childcare to elder care, the BrightStar of Downtown Houston team provides peace of mind. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our Director of Nursing ensures that each client receives the highest level of care administered by highly qualified personnel.

Home Healthcare and Staffing Services Provided

  • Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care
  • Shopping and Transportation Services
  • Newborn/Multiples Care
  • Sitting/Companion Service
  • Nanny Service
  • And much more

About Our Home Healthcare and Staffing Providers
The answer to your question is “Yes, we can!” Just tell us what you need; we’ll custom tailor a service plan and make all of the necessary arrangements. We are here to help our clients and their families live their best. Let us know how we can be of service.

Proudly serving Bunker Hill Village, River Oaks, Bellaire, West University, The Heights, Hunters Creek, Midtown and the Medical Center.