• Pam

When You Can No Longer Continue Caring For Your Parent At Home

Many adult children are currently caring for a parent in their home. A large percentage of those parents require a great deal of assistance with their daily living, and, as one might imagine, this can be a very difficult situation to be in. There are many reasons that adult children take a parent in. First and foremost, it is usually because we love and care for them and we know they need us. Financial concerns also play a large role in this decision. Senior living can be extremely costly especially if the person needs medical assistance as well as a place to live. Many of us, myself included, tell ourselves that we can make it work on our own. We will get someone to help us here and there, but we can do it. It is not until we are actually in the thick of it that we realize just how incredibly difficult it is to provide this care day-in and day-out. The pressure is also increased when we have to work a full-time job and still have our own children at home. This type of situation can take a huge toll on home-life and especially the person providing the care. I brought my mom home from senior care when she was on hospice and needed constant care. I provided all of that care myself. While hospice did check in twice a week on her (I had an incredible aid provide bathes in bed for her twice a week), I provided all her care. I took her to the bathroom, changed her bed, fed her, and provided medication and mental support to her. I did this while working a full work day and caring for my kids. It wore me down on a daily basis and I know it was hard for my daughter who lived at home. I was fortunate that my mom could be with me for that last month and that she did not have to suffer for very long. However, that is not the norm. I have spoken to three different people in the past few weeks that are struggling with the care of a parent. We all want the best for them but it is important to realize when the job may be too much and when putting a parent in senior care is the best choice for both you and them. If you are unable to keep up with the care, feel beyond exhausted, and/or your relationships are suffering, these are signs that you may want to reconsider your options. If you are not caring for yourself then the care you are giving a parent is not what they need. Some common examples I hear from people trying to balance caring for a parent are "my husband and I hardly talk anymore because all I do is care for my mom", "I have no time to workout and have gained so much weight", "I have no friends anymore because I am too tired and busy to stay in contact", and, sadly, "the love turns to anger and some resentment which none of us want to feel". I encourage anyone feeling like this to get some help both for the parent and for themselves - whatever that looks like. There are many things you can do to help with care at home (such as hiring caregivers), but if that is not working and you realize you are not living your life anymore, it is time to consider a senior care facility. I encourage anyone in this situation to check out my website for information on senior care facilities and home health care options. It is also crucial to consider these issues before money runs out so you still have the option of Medicaid if needed.

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