Mom is getting older, a widow and living at home alone. She has fallen twice in the last few months, but thankfully has not hurt herself. You are worried. The conversations about her moving in with you have not gone well as she doesn’t want to be burden to you or your family.
Though the conversations with mom have not convinced her to move in with you, she is beginning to soften to the idea. She too is beginning to worry about herself and well being. The last thing she wants is to hurt herself and spend any time in the hospital. As a result, your plan is to bring mom into your home and care for her yourself. After all, she cared for you, loved you and made you the woman you are today. The least you can do is care for her when she needs you.
Are you ready?
This response is noble and appropriate. Caring for an adult/elderly parent can be taxing and you should ask yourself if you are ready to take on the challenge. Some things to think about:
Caring for a parent is different than caring for a child. Depending on the circumstances, there could be a steep learning curve. Adults are larger, stronger and in most things “bigger”. You should assess the practicalities of your situation before taking on family caregiving. These are some of the tasks you may be doing:
- Helping in and out of bed
- Toileting (including changing briefs)
It’s a 24/7 gig. Adult daycare is an option, but if not, your parent will be with you all day (and night). It’s important that you plan your time. You will still need to care for yourself and family with everyday tasks and chores like:
- Kid drop offs/pick ups
- House chores
You may need to take charge. The joke about “coming full circle” meaning our parents cared for us and we end up caring for them becomes reality more times than not. As with children, there may be times when you need to be stern with your aging parent. This can be difficult for many people, but sometimes a necessary attitude to take to ensure mom or dad are properly cared for and safe.
With the proper planning and attitude, family caregiving is completely doable. After all, families have been doing it for thousands of years. We just need to know what we are getting into and only take on what we can handle, especially for the well-being and safety of mom or dad.
Know when to ask for help! Look to professionals when you need such critical assistance. Home care agencies specialize in just this type of care. As the top provider of home health San Diego and the surrounding area have to offer, we at Superior Home Care Services are always available to offer the assistance you need.
Below is a link to an Aleteia article featuring Rob Lowe and the stresses he experienced taking on the role as caregiver to his parents. The actor has first hand insight into what is means to be a caregiver.