Caring for Aging Parents Presents Unique Challenges
For many of us, just as our kids reach the age where they are going to college or venturing out on their own, our parents reach the stage in life where they begin needing our help. The first indication that a parent is struggling may be a holiday visit where things just don’t seem right. Mail is piled up, food in the refrigerator has long past expiration dates or there are unexplained bruises, perhaps from a recent fall. For adult children who live close by, their parents decline may become apparent over a period of time. They find themselves spending more and more of their time helping out with errands, bill paying and managing a parent’s daily needs, prescription reordering, scheduling doctor’s visits, etc.
Caring for an aging parent is never easy. Besides the time commitment, conflicts often arise as parents struggle to maintain independence. They often resent their children stepping in and telling them what to do. Caregiving responsibilities expand and take time away from your own family and personal responsibilities. It is important to remember to take time for your self. Respite from day to day responsibilities allows you to recharge your batteries and reconnect with your own family. Time away also benefits the parent you are caring for. If you allow your caregiving responsibilities to become overwhelming, you can begin to resent the person you are caring for and damage your relationship. Guilt is also a big part of the family caregiving equation. You may find yourself feeling like you are the only one who can care for your parent and that you need to be there all the time to attend to their needs.
Seniors Helping Seniors can help. Our senior caregivers can provide companionship as well as assistance with the daily needs of aging parents. Light housekeeping, meal preparation, rides to the doctors, help with laundry and medication reminders are all tasks that our trained and carefully screened senior providers can take on. They come from the same generation as your parents and have empathy and understanding for the challenges your parents may be facing. This means our caregivers may be better accepted even by seniors who are resistive to outside assistance. We will find a caregiver who is a good match for the personality and needs of your loved one. This allows you to take some time for yourself knowing that your parent is in good hands. Remember – caring for an aging parent can be a long journey and you need to rest and recharge along the way