Senior Care: Your parents can no longer manage daily routines without a helping hand.
You’re switching to part-time hours so that you can help out. It’s a new role for you, but it’s an important one. What strengths help family caregivers succeed in their role? Senior care providers can be a huge help to you.
You need to be organized. Your parents need you to help them with meal planning, shopping, medication reminders, and more. Keep a list of the things that need to get done every day. Some chores need to be done weekly and monthly. Jot those down on separate lists.
With an organized list, it becomes easier to keep track of what needs to get done. If you can’t fit everything in, it’s a good sign that additional help is required. Ask your siblings to chip in.
Your parents may not always appreciate your help. It’s hard to admit you’re not as capable as you used to be, and that can lead to frustration. When they’re frustrated, you may become the target and deal with a bit of verbal abuse. Don’t take it personally. Be patient with them.
As you show that they can’t fluster you, the mood will change. They’ll grow to appreciate your help and make it known how much your parents depend on you.
You’re going to need some physical strength, especially if your parents need help with ambulation. Lifting your mom or dad in and out of bed, up from a chair or sofa, and in and out of a shower is hard on your back and shoulders.
Some devices can make this easier. If you’re doing a lot of lifting, look into a transfer belt with sturdy handles to help you lift your parents.
You love your parents, but your role as a family caregiver may challenge you. No matter how sad they seem to be as they rely on your help, make sure you show them constantly how much you love them. They need reassurance, especially on the more challenging days.
Senior Care: The Ability to Say No
You do have to set limits. Be sure that you’re telling people no if they ask for favors you don’t have the time or patience to manage. Your brother wants you to pick up his children from school. You need to explain that it’s too much.
Senior home care helps your parents, but did you realize it also helps you? As a family caregiver, you probably don’t spend much time caring for yourself. With senior home care aides helping your parents, you’re free to visit friends, go shopping, or stay at home and have a lazy day.
Call a senior care agency and ask about respite care services. You need to take care of yourself, too. Let a senior care aide give you the break you need and deserve.