Caring for aging parents requires a lot of work. Even the most energetic son or daughter with a free schedule will become tired of the responsibility of providing senior care for a loved one. If you find yourself in this situation, it’s important that you consider your options before making a decision, keeping in mind the fact that there are friends, family members, and professionals whom you can rely on for assistance.
Here are a few things you want to keep in mind when the time comes to find care for your elderly parent or loved one.
Look at the Situation Honestly
When you started taking care of your parent, you probably thought you could handle the responsibility entirely on your own. The fact is, few people can. Caring for a loved one is around the clock hard work, especially if they have an underlying health condition or diagnosis of some kind.
Carrying this kind of responsibility by yourself is a big commitment that can take a toll on you and disrupt your life. All of your time and energy is dedicated to this person, and though it is a noble sacrifice, it make your own life more difficult and stressful to manage.
If you really want what is best for you and your senior parent, you have to ask yourself some eye-opening questions.
Do yourself and your loved one a service by truly examining the senior care services you’re providing. Consider asking yourself: Are you able to provide them with everything they need? Are you able to handle stress well? Are you finding that the work is putting a strain on your job or personal relationships? Many times, when a son or daughter becomes the primary caregiver for parents, it strains or damages the relationship they had previously. Instead of the previous “parent-child” relationship, it shifts to a less familial, “caregiver-senior” relationship.
Your relationship with your loved one matters, and by stepping in as a caregiver for them, you are putting that relationship at risk. So be honest with yourself when considering caregiver services.
Only by being honest with yourself will you be able to address these issues.
Talk With Your Family
If you’ve taken the job of a senior care provider entirely on your own, it may be time to talk with your family members about sharing the burden. Oftentimes, one sibling will take the whole load all by themselves, not realizing how hard it will be, and not asking for help from the family members they can turn to.
Open up and ask your family members for help. They may not even know you need help, so talk to them and ask for their services.
This doesn’t mean you have to hand over all the senior care responsibilities right away, especially if you don’t want to. You could start off simple, by dividing the work so you get evenings or weekends off. Whatever free time you’re given, take advantage of it and give yourself a good break. Even a little bit of free time can improve your quality of life dramatically.
What if your family members live far away? What should you do then? Well, even if your family members do not live in the same vicinity as you or your senior loved one, you can still call on them for their services and help. You can schedule times for your siblings to come stay with the parent for a week or so, giving you the rest you need. Doing this, or even just talking to your family members, can help them see the situation first hand. This way, they can understand the difficulty of the matter personally.
This kind of empathy from family members will help future conversations relating to home care, so everyone can understand the importance and severity of the parent’s needs, and your needs.
Hire a Professional
It’s entirely possible (maybe even likely) that at some point your elderly loved one will require professional senior care. Opting for senior care or home assistance is a great way to provide excellent care for your senior loved one, as well as keep your relationship with them familial and friendly.
Hiring a professional allows you to continue your normal way of life, with your job, hobbies, social life, and other family matters, while also giving you peace of mind. You can know that your loved ones are being watched over and cared for.
Professional caregivers are trained to provide the care that seniors need to be happy and healthy. They understand that taking care of an elderly person requires addressing that person’s physical, mental, and emotional needs. Plus, if you have a loved one who is suffering from Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, or other age-related conditions, a professional caregiver has the training to address those issues in ways you might not.
You’ll find that once you hire a professional caregiver, you’ll be able to spend more quality time with your parent. Without having to tend to their every need, it is easier for you to concentrate on more enjoyable activities such as going for walks, visiting friends, or engaging in conversation. Another great benefit to hiring a caregiver, is that they can customize their schedule and duties however you see fit. You can hire a professional for full-time care, or have the caregiver help exclusively at the start of each day. The choice is yours!
To learn more about the ways Home Care Assistance of Dayton, OH can provide your loved one with professional senior care, contact us online, or give us a call for a free consultation today at (937) 353-1412.
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