For so many years, children have heard the words, I will never, ever be in a nursing home. As abiding children, when the need for assistance comes, they move their parents into their home and act as the primary caregiver. While on the surface this seems ideal, often, when there isnt proper planning, the effects can be everlasting for all involved.
With the aging process, there can be a rapid decline in independence and greater dependency on others for care. So, while a parent might move into a downstairs apartment with the ideas of being fully independent, this can quickly change. Medical and physical conditions, hospitalizations and changes in mental status can place added responsibility on the children to be the caregiver.
Some points worth mentioning for a healthy balance:
– Ensure that all family members, including your parents, know that you will not become the main caregiver. In the event that additional care is necessary, a reliable agency with professional caregivers will have to be hired.
– By hosting your parents, you are making yourself available for them. However, this doesnt relieve the other family members from taking an active role in their parents care, with the thought that you have it under control.
– Ensure that there is no burn-out for you. Allow some me-time where you can step back and focus on your needs and your own space.
– Speaking with a reputable home care agency in advance, is a sure way to properly plan for future needs. They can talk you through the different stages in the aging process, let you know what to expect and advise what interventions will need to be in place.
Life comes at you fast.