Nearly 25 percent of American households are providing care for adults 50 years or older, often parents of the siblings who are suddenly looking after them in their advancing years. This represents both a challenge and a trip into uncharted waters. The good news is that who knows these aging adults and their cares and needs more than their children? The less good news is that sometimes the care and attention these seniors need is more than their children can handle on their own.
If there are enough children, sometimes a shared schedule of helping the parents can work, but if even one sibling doesn’t appear to be giving an equal share, the others might develop bad feelings, and if one child volunteers to do all the caring 24/7, so to speak, the others will likely grow suspicious and worry that the sole caregiver is seeking full control of the inheritance. Haven’t TV shows been built on just such themes?
It’s challenge enough to figure out how to care for your parents, but another challenge arises if you try to seek professional help.Your parents most likely will want to cling to their independence and will resist any effort the children make to arrange for professional help. So what’s the best way to talk to your parents about the need for outside care and assistance?
The worst thing to do is avoid the subject, especially if you notice that your parents are becoming less and less capable of caring for every aspect of their lives. You obviously need to broach the subject with them and convince them to accept in-home help on at least a trial basis. Let’s face it. This means a “stranger” will be coming into your parents’ home and lives, and it can be unsettling to all involved, especially your parents.
Another approach is to list the advantages and get your parents to buy in to the gains they will achieve by having someone around to help with chores, medications, cleaning, cooking or whatever it may be. You can also stress that, rather than losing their independence, they will actually have their independence enhanced. There’s a whole list of things they don’t have to fret about anymore, leaving them with more time and more freedom.
And there’s also the approach based on the children’s needs. You can express your concern for your parents’ well-being and also your fears that you and the other children won’t be able to be there all the time or do all the tasks that need to be done on a daily basis.
The final approach in convincing your parents about the need for home care is to get professionals to help you. The eldercare professionals at Alta Home Care stand ready to assist in this and many other tasks, as well as providing any in-home care that might be needed. Call or visit us, and we can work out a “team” approach to get your parents to accept the need for caregivers to help. The time to get started is now.