Becoming A Full Time Carer For Your Parent – What You Need To Know
You might be a busy working mom taking care of your family right now. But if your parents are aging, chances are you’re spending more and more time taking care of them too. It’s really hard to juggle the needs of your young family with the needs of your parents now they are senior citizens. And it probably feels quite peculiar that your role in the relationship is reversing. After two decades of taking care of you in your youth, you need to now care for them.
So what happens when ill health and age make your parents too frail to be independent? Are you ready and willing to do what is needed to help them? It’s a huge ask. Many people would find it too difficult at this busy time in their lives to become a full-time caregiver. Sadly, more and more of us need to step up to the challenge. Private care is so expensive now. And our parents may be very reluctant or financially unable to enter the care home system.
You may have siblings that are willing to share the care arrangements. Be wary of this, though. You’ll both have occasions when you need or want to pass the buck. This can cause friction in your relationship with your brother or sister. And if your parent finds out about the bickering, this can make the whole situation extremely awkward and unpleasant. Personal relationships within your own family can become strained too. You will sometimes be unavailable to your partner and kids as you care for your parents. Are they ready for you to become a caregiver?
Your mental health can suffer from the stress and worry of caring. You need to make sure you can have plenty of breaks from the duties you need to undertake. There may be lots of personal care tasks to perform as time goes on. You and your parent might prefer to hire a nurse or caregiver for things like managing the toileting or bathing. Of course, there are closed system catheters that can help when things become more difficult for your parent to manage.
As well as caring for your parent, you will need to regularly check the living arrangements are suitable for everyone. Things change in such a short space of time. You might start by looking after your parent in their home. Later, it may be necessary to choose small, single story accommodation. And eventually, it may be essential that your parent is cared for around the clock. You may choose to move them into your family home.
So how do you cope with your parent in your home all day every day? It can feel crowded at first, and you will undoubtedly need a period of settling in. But there can be some advantages to this. You can make sure your parent is eating and drinking enough. You can use the quality time for some bonding. And it means your entire family can become close with them too. We usually move our parents in with us when we’re concerned about their safety. You’ll know their risks of injury will be dramatically reduced. Take care.
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