Caring for Aging Parents.
YOur Senior Concierge -Elder Care
By your side supporting you in the ways you need most.
Making Life Easier for Seniors and their families!
Realities of life are not often talked about, sometimes they are not recognized until the experience is upon us. As we age, we all change and grow. Then there comes an age, it is different for everyone, when you see yourself or a parent slow down. This in itself is not awful but it is a fact. This progresses and there comes a point where some help, intervention or something additional is needed. Often the family sees it and is concerned, frightened, and unsure of how to handle it and is unsure of what if anything they should do.
In Today's world there are many options. First off the family notices and there really isn't anything needed to be done as your aging parent is seeing it and adjusting to it without incident. Then time continues and many different things can happen. The children of aging parents become involved fortunately, if people are fortunate enough to have children.
Today's world is so much more complex than it was years ago. People live longer so the issues that evolve are more complicated and most of all our personal lives are different. For example, many children no longer live in close proximity to their parents. They can live across the country, in a nearby state or 40 miles away. These same children of elderly parents have children of their own who need their parents and these parents have jobs that are very consuming.
This makes it very difficult to give your senior family members the time and attention that you want to and may need to. Often called the Sandwich Generation, these adults are truly being pulled in all directions. Pulled by the needs of your parents, your children and your job. Yikes!! It can be exhausting with little time for yourself, a constant feeling of never doing enough, some resentment possible and constant angst.
I lost my parents at an early age and have an enormous amount of patience and interest in elderly people. Perhaps my early loss is the reason. I didn't have enough time to be annoyed by them or impatient with them as an adult as I see others are. I am sure I would have been as well had I had the chance but I didn't.
I sometimes see seniors who feel neglected by their families, some more than others. However, I don't blame their adult children as they have lives of their own they are dealing with. This is not an indication of a lack of love or concern but a fact of life. How much time can you give to your parents when your children have all their needs and the job and perhaps a spouse? What if there is no spouse and you are raising the kids alone? That is a struggle in itself.
We all want to do the most we can and feel guilty or less than if we don't live up to our idyllic expectations, If we do, we can often lose a lot that we weren't expecting. Things like our own health both physical and emotional, our marriage, our kid's well being, and our careers which we need to maintain our lives. It is for sure, no parent wants their children to make all these sacrifices. You don't want to experience what is called "Caregiver Burnout".
However, what is a person to do? Find someone who can help a bit is my suggestion and goal. I have often thought as I saw an elderly person out with a Home Health Aid who seems to lack any connection to their charge, I wonder what goes on in the house? If my parent had a Home Health Aid, I know that I can be there at certain expected times but I would want a couple of surprise visits to see what is really going on when I am not there or expected.
There are many scenarios where help can be used without undermining your love and devotion to your parent. Extra and surprise visits to a Nursing Home, Advocacy in a Nursing Home or Assisted Living, Special Dr visits you can't make, medical supplies, home maintenance etc. and we can say general coordination of care.
Even the Senior who is living alone can use some local help and oversight. Help finding daytime activities and transportation to get there, activities to make life happier and more fullfilling, friendly visit to see how they are and if anything is needed, an extra eye to check on home conditions for safety, computer help to keep in touch with family, or anything that can't wait for the weekend or the children's next visit.
Consider giving yourself a break.