Sons, Daughters, and the Special Bond with Parents
Today is International Sons and Daughters Day! And we are celebrating the strong bond between parents and children. The mutual love they share and the memories they have been creating since their first day together. When people think of children they will think of families with small kids, but today Ohana Care wants to acknowledge the older sons and daughters that have senior parents.
Aging transforms the relationship between parents and their children. This is especially true when the parents’ medical and homemaking needs increase. There is no longer a definite line between the responsibilities of the children and their parents. With this role reversal, the parents now rely on their children, the way they once relied on the parents. Just like the parents did when the children were young, they now help them grow older in an environment that addresses all their needs.
Caring for Aging Parents in Canada
According to the Portrait of Caregivers from Statistics Canada, Adult children make up almost half of the 8 million caregivers in Canada, with just under 4 million Canadian adults caring for their elderly parents. On average, these individuals will spend 3 and 4 hours per week directly providing care or support to their parents and parents-in-law. Half of these caregivers expressed they must reduce their time spent with their children, spouses or working to support their parents. While it is commendable that they have taken on this role, it does take away from their personal lives. Also, it drastically changes their role from child to caregiver.
Are you ready to become a caregiver for your aging parent?
Elderly parents are still parents to their sons and daughters, and most want ways to express their independence, even when they can’t maintain it. Before placing the burden of caregiving on their shoulders, children may want to sit down with their parents and clarify their wishes for if their health declines. Here are some things to consider:
5 questions to ask yourself and your parent before becoming the primary caregiver:
- Am I comfortable giving personal care, such as toileting and showering my parent? Are they comfortable receiving that care from me?
- When I visit does my parent prefer that I assist with chores or would they like to do other activities together?
- If we hire a company to help (care, homemaking, errands, transportation) will I be the one paying the bill or my parent? Tip: the person paying should also set the budget.
- Am I comfortable with my parent living at home? And does my parent feel safe living alone?
- Am I equipped with the right knowledge and skills to properly undertake care of my parent?
Celebrate Your Relationship
If you do become your parent’s caregiver, specifically take time to celebrate your relationship!
Make a point of continually creating fond memories with each other. Surprise your parents with a gesture, gift or activity. Here are some creative ideas on how to celebrate your relationship on Sons and Daughters Day:
- Write a heartfelt card that refers to memories, life lessons or simply thank your parents
- Plan a day out to go golfing, shopping, have a picnic, a spa or go for a drive in the country
- Fix something for your parents around the house that they have been talking about for a while
- Plan a photography or videography day with the family
- Bring them a coffee and ask that they share their best memories of your early childhood
- Get the grandchildren to make a craft with pictures of themselves and their grandparents
- Attend a fun event together like StageWest, a music festival or a movie
- Cook something together, for example, have them teach you their “secret” recipe or prepare some frozen meals together to lift the burden off you
- Start your own book club/TV club and discuss the show or book once a week. Tip: this is a great idea for children living farther away
If you need help having these conversations and shedding light on your parents’ needs, Ohana Care can assist by completing a thorough in-home assessment. Claim your relationship with your parent’s back and delegate tedious tasks to professionals. Also, we have a lot of resources for specific caregiving topics. And, if we can’t help, we know someone who can!