Family Complications with Caregiving
Our elderly parents are living longer than ever — and yet, they’re not necessarily in good health during those “bonus years.” Modern medicine, and healthier lifestyles have had a positive effect on longer aging.
But this reality has meant that, more and more, the adult children are finding themselves juggling the “caring burden” for their aging parents. This might be as simple as providing transportation to the doctor, or stopping over a couple times a week to help with groceries and meal preparation. Unfortunately, a health crisis can happen quickly, which suddenly changes the terms of engagement for the adult son or daughter. Now expanded responsibilities can include managing their parent’s healthcare, finances, dealing with doctors and medication management, even attempting to perform minor nursing functions.
It is a struggle to balance the care of elderly parent with your own job and family responsibilities. This can be compared to taking on a second full time job. There are only so many hours in the day…and you can only be in one place at a time. The stress of caregiving can be physical, financial—and in many cases, emotional. Juggling care tasks and worrying about your parent’s well-being would stress any caregiver.
What happens when the elderly parent and adult child have difficult relationship? Life histories punctuated by disagreements, criticisms, and illness can have a negative effect on your parental relationship. Add on the possibility of cognitive impairment and/or strong medications which may cause a personality swing. What happens when the changes of old age mean the parent needs help?
Time to seek help. Your primary care physician or healthcare advisor may be able to help you understand what is going on. And homecare agencies, providing private senior care assistance in the home, can help relieve some of the stress caused by worry, frustration, and lack of time.
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John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions.
Phone: (781) 378-2164