How to tell if you are becoming your parents’ caregiver? This is part 1 in our series about regaining your relationship and enjoying your parents’ golden years with them. By identifying the signs that you need a little or a lot of help sooner, you can keep spending quality time with your parents as they age gracefully in their own home.
What is Aging in Place?
An increasing trend for seniors is aging in place. In other words, seniors are making a conscious decision to remain in their homes as opposed to moving to a retirement home or care facility. This decision is made despite their diminishing physical and cognitive abilities. Because the comfort of one’s home is hard to emulate in another environment, staying at home means keeping their independence, habits, and memories intact.
However, for adult children, this decision often means stepping up to assist in and around the house more often to support their parents. While most children have the best intentions, caregiving can be an added stress that builds up over time. Soon the relationship between parent and child may shift to a caregiver-patient frame of mind. Because this shift can occur slowly, it’s sometimes difficult to tell when you might need help.
How to tell if you are becoming your parents’ caregiver?
Here are 5 signs your relationship with your parent has shifted to that of a caregiver:
- Your conversations revolve around managing their health and environment. For example, asking “Have you taken your medication today?”, or scheduling chores instead of visits “I’ll drop by this weekend to do your laundry”.
- If you spend more than 75% of your time doing chores and monitoring the calendar for upcoming appointments instead of sitting down to visit or going out to do activities together.
- You are missing (too much) work to accompany your parent to medical and personal appointments
- You feel guilt and/or fear when you don’t go and visit your parent(s). Or you call consistently to check up on them to ask questions such as “Have you eaten?” Have you showered? Are you up?
- Your parent starts to ask permission to go out, do activities of daily living, eat, take their meds, etc.
While caring for a parent is commendable, it should always be an understanding that you remain their child. Caring for a parent temporarily after a medical event such as a heart attack, stroke, or fall until they recover is perfectly acceptable. But, if you look long term and feel that they may need additional assistance going forward, it’s best to have a conversation with your parent on their wishes.
How do I know if it’s time to call in caregiving help?
If your parent chooses to age in place, make sure you set up some boundaries to protect your important relationship. If you start asking questions like these, it might be time to call in caregiving help to reset your relationship. Don’t you wish you could sit down with your mom over a cup of tea and listen to her advice? Or whip out the cribbage board and enjoy some quality time with your dad? Why is it that you can’t simply BE with your parents when visiting? Of course, your parent could use some assistance, but is it how you wish to spend time with them? Chasing dust bunnies, snooping around trying to find a reason to be concerned, playing nurse?
If you are finding yourself missing your parents even when you’re with them, it could be a sign that you need some help.
Am I letting my parents down by getting a caregiver?
Let us let you in on a little secret: Your parents miss spending time with their children too. Your parents welcome your help and love that you’re giving back and taking care of them like they took care of you. But at a certain point, it becomes a list of tasks and chores and suddenly, it’s more like a business relationship than one of family.
Take back your relationship by leaving the boring and tedious tasks to a friendly, qualified, professional caregiver that will enable you to regain your natural roles with your parents. Ohana’s caregivers work under the supervision of a Registered Nurse and a Recreation Therapist to ensure your parents receive not only the best care but the best lifestyle while you are busy with life.
Will a caregiver be able to do as good a job as I do?
The statement “Yes, but I know mom/dad best!” is common. We know you know them best, that’s why we sit down with you and your parents to create a care plan. Family members can absolutely be involved as part of the care team, but with a caregiver on your side, we take away the burden of being the only ones helping. In addition, we offer professional support and education to help your loved one’s age in place comfortably.
When do I call a caregiver?
Whether it’s a little help or a lot, Ohana Care is there. Whether it’s a few hours a day or full time, our care plans ensure your parents’ needs are taken care of. Get your parents the assistance they need now, allowing them to stay safely in their own home and live their best life. Helping seniors live well in their own home is what Ohana Care is here for. Regain your relationship and enjoy your parents’ golden years with them by getting the assistance you need now.
It’s easy to get started! Sit down with our community manager to have a conversation about how a care plan can help you and your parents. To set up a free appointment, call us at (403) 300-2273, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or fill out our contact us form online.