Taking Care of Parents, Why This Can Sometimes Feel Very Overwhelming
As our population continues to grey, more adult children are taking care of parents and their own young children simultaneously.
Table of Content
Are You Taking Care of Parents with Thought?
The fact is, many adult children of ageing parents never even realise that Mom and Dad need assistance. That’s until they come home to visit or spend a longer while together over the holiday season. Remember that the parents may be depressed or traumatised by the changes in their health and independence, and these moods may affect those who care for them.
Watching a senior decline and become less able to care for themselves is hard on adult children. Not forgetting other family members, and it brings that they will not live forever clearly to mind. As adult children, when we think about our parents as seniors, we may not comprehend the extent to which their ageing will affect them or how it will affect us.
It's Difficult, Especially for Those with Children Still Living at Home
Even when your parents are in good health and may even be living on their own, there are some things you can do to prepare for moving into the next stage of life. Support will come through having honest conversations where both elderly parents and adult children feel comfortable sharing their goals for the future.
Because parents are living longer, but with chronic illnesses, adult children are now caring for them up to a decade or more. Bringing your elderly parents into your own home might be a good fit for some, but it’s essential to consider the options, first.
You can’t know everything, and you probably don’t have enough time to learn everything you need to know to care for your parents. However, as they become less able to support themselves financially or medically, the responsibility passes on to adult children who may even be unsure of how to best help their parents.
- There is emotional stress that family caregivers feel.
- Self-care is not selfish and need not be expensive.
- Families will find that support will make it easier.
- Remember to spend time visiting your family member.
Even though you may be your parents caregiver, you might discover that you lack the resources, skills, or time to supply all of your parent’s needs. It can be even harder to provide care for your parents if they have unexpectedly become disabled or their health becomes suddenly worse.
Should your parents be incontinent, you may want them to call for you no matter what you’re doing if they need to use the bathroom. It’s a familiar concern for many only children who face the prospect of caring for their ageing parents without the help of siblings.
Caregivers might need help to access certain information and services.
Recognising the heavy burdens of caring for elderly parents is the first step to maintaining balance during a tough time. As the population ages, many adult children are grappling with an unprecedented social, cultural, economic, and personal revolution. And they now transition into the primary caregiver role for their ageing parents.
Many ageing parents want to stay at home. Still, they lack the knowledge of what it takes to remain independent and self-sufficient. Caregivers and ageing parents or spouses become burned out and emotionally drained by caregiving.
Taking Care of Parents with Health Concerns
Over time, caregiving can have long-term effects on your health and well-being. Suppose they are already seniors and still in good health and living independently. There, we may feel no dramatic changes are needed.
There’s evidence that taking care of an elderly family member negatively affects a caregiver’s health and increases stress. Some adult “children” of the elderly are themselves elderly and at risk for health problems.
Adult Children Who Become Caregivers Pay a Steep Price
As care needs increase for ageing parents due to declining health, the role of caregiving becomes more stressful. Caregivers may be abused and the caregiving situation they are in isn’t always healthy or ‘right’.
Many adult children find it challenging convincing their parents they can no longer maintain their diet, housing, health, and many other vital issues. Don’t wait until you’re overwhelmed and exhausted, or your health fails.
Am I Required to Care For My Parents?
No one is under any legal obligation to take care of their senior parents. However, most people will feel they owe a moral and ethical duty even if they don’t act on it. It’s a personal judgement that only you can make. There are no obligations to care for a father or mother.
Caregiving can be viewed as everyday family stress but with the potential to cause harmful health effects for the caregiver and other family members if a state of crisis persists. The family may even be at risk for “double trouble” if the caregiver’s health is affected by caregiving demands.
As they age, there are bound to be some health problems for your parents. As baby boomers are living longer, healthier lives, any assistance required typically becomes the children’s responsibility.
Some elderly individuals only require minimum assistance with their daily living and health care needs. However, suppose your parents’ health and medical needs become more than you can handle. In that case, you could consider other options.
Your elderly parents may be as stressed as you are right now.
Be realistic with how much care you can provide without sacrificing your own health, your relationships, and other responsibilities. Maybe people rarely realise that caregivers put themselves and their health at risk doing the work they do just like other heroes.
Besides health risks, caregiving can threaten financial well-being. However, when the health of the family is considered, it is much more difficult to tally the total impact.
Involve the Family in Taking Care of Parents
Suppose you are a family caregiver who lives far away from your older parents. There, it’s essential to have a plan in place for crisis situations and care. This is especially true with those family members caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.
It can seem like the best solution is to take care of an elderly parent in your home to live with your family. Such situations can help families through a difficult time, strengthen family bonds, and promote comforting memories of their time together as a family.
Your Parent's Life Just Changed Dramatically, and So Has Yours
Involvement and recognising the potential contributions of other family members may help to reduce the harmful effects on the primary caregiver and to promote the growth of other individuals in the family. Balancing multiple roles, including work, is a common and central task for family caregivers.
Family members, including adult children, can be chosen to provide care for their mothers and fathers. It’s little wonder that marriage and family guidance often refer their clients to geriatric care managers for support.
An important thing to consider when caring for an elderly family member is to take care of yourself too. Consider the involvement of other family members, friends and services to provide respite so caregivers can recharge their batteries.
- Frustration exists when caregivers don’t know what to do.
- Aging parents require the attention of their adult children.
- Care for your ageing parents by talking with them.
- Health problems are common among caregivers.
You owe it to your own physical and mental health to understand what is going on and how to need the assistance to make a plan that will benefit everyone in your family. Family caregiving of the elderly has concentrated on the “primary caregiver,” or the person who provides the most care, or with the principal responsibility for the elders care.
Talk with siblings, close friends and all family members about your concerns, find a caregiver support group or get professional help. It can help to decide on a list of topics that you’d like to discuss with your family member. This will certainly help to keep you focused and able to overcome any objections.
The implications for later life caregiving are considerable.
Whether you’re a primary caregiver or a group of family members that work together providing their care, when caring for elderly parents, stress is part of the package. When you have siblings and other family members willing to help with some of your parents’ needs, let them.
Look at the capabilities of the family members; this can help to determine who would be best for each responsibility that goes with caring for an ageing parent. Whether you have a busy lifestyle and active family, or more time to offer your parents, chances are you’ll need help and resources along the way.
Taking Care of Parents, Life, Living and Support
Taking care of ageing parents can be one of life’s most challenging responsibilities. Choosing the right care for an ageing parent is governed by family dynamics, career and personal life.
That’s why you have to be realistic estimating how much time and effort you can put into caring for them, without damaging your own life. It’s also essential that your parents feel comfortable with their new home as this can be a significant life-changing decision for them.
Professional Help May Be a Better Option for Your Parent
And, knowing you’re doing your best by providing a good life for your parents, as they once did for you, is deeply satisfying. Over time you will identify the best ways to unwind and celebrate life.
Some alternatives may work better, ranging from home care and adult day programs to moving into their an apartment in a senior living community. Many older adults address this problem by sharing their living space with someone else who’s in similar circumstances.
Why Is It That Elderly Parents Demand So Much?
I don’t think they do, seniors have become a little demanding because they are more reliant on other people. They become frustrated with not doing certain things for themselves. Sometimes it may seem that they’re demanding but just imagine how frustrated you’d be if suddenly there was so much you couldn’t do.
Independent living may be ideal for individuals who require minimal assistance but would like the option to enjoy having access to help if needed. With people now living longer, many of us will likely need assisted care as we age.
By adjusting living arrangements, strategic family planning, and designating family caregivers, long term care in the home may be possible. If it’s time to consider assisted living for your loved one, then start by getting your family and siblings involved.
An honest look at where the elderly needs support is the first step and then assess at all the possible solutions to get them the help they need. They could be eligible to receive additional financial aid from government programs to offset their living expenses.
Most older adults would choose their own homes.
Personal care as well as other forms of non-medical in-home supportive services can be provided. However, individual services offered are determined at the county level. Because caregiving is a multi-faceted role, caregivers need to have support so they can remain healthy, and try to avoid stress and burnout.
The important thing is to get support for yourself, so you can find peace during your caregiving journey, and once it is completed. For many caregivers, finding help can be a friendly and assuring reminder that you’re not alone taking care of parents.