A lot changes when you become the caregiver, and it all seems to happen when you least expect it. You have no professional training, no timeline, and not idea the level of care that’s needed from you. It happens, it’s life changing, and you’re expected to adapt. This is why many people need help with senior care.
Becoming the Caregiver
Becoming a caregiver for your loved one is “understood” by most adult children. They expect it to happen, but seldom know when or what it will entail. Plus, it’s not a subject matter anyone likes to talk about. In the same way that talking about death and funeral arrangements are considered a morbid taboo, so too is mentioning senior care.
For seniors, many struggle to bring up the subject because they don’t want to be a burden to their children. Others expect believe they’ll be able to take care of themselves and continue to live a healthy life in their own house. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case.
Meanwhile, adult children struggle to broach the subject because it’s an admission that there will be a role reversal between child and parent. While most parents spend their years providing for their children, eventually the roles reverse and the adult children must provide for their parents. Adult children struggle to bring this up, not knowing how to be respectful. Add to this elders not wanting to be a burden and you’re left with conversations that start and stop in two sentences:
“When you’re older and in need of senior care—”
“I trust you to make the best decision.”
Many families end up leaving the discussion to that. This is what makes becoming the caregiver all the more difficult and why many seniors end needing to move out of their homes. Adult children tend to recognize the signs. When they visit their parents’ house, they can see if the laundry has been done, if the dishes are clean, if the pets have been fed. In the case of dementia, they notice bruising on their bodies or scratches on their cars. Perhaps the car keys were misplaced in the freezer along with a garden trowel or maybe the upstairs looks like it hasn’t been touched in weeks. The signs are all there and you don’t need to be an expert in mental illnesses to see it because you’re an expert in your parent.
Adult children know their parents their whole lives, so when they (the parents) start behaving irregularly or are suddenly no longer doing things they’ve enjoyed for two decades, it’s easy to discern that something is wrong. The next problem the adult children make is they don’t act on it and this is what often leads seniors to needing to move into assisted living homes because their situation gets worse and worse until they’re forced to move out of their home. What you’re left with is an elder who feels like they must be dying and an adult child that feels irreversibly guilty. Needless to say, that’s not the ideal option. Therefore, if you catch the signs early, and communicate needs early, then the best thing for your loved one and the best thing for you will be to get help with senior care.
Getting Help with Senior Care
In home care experts can provide a myriad of help for you and your family. They can do the housework, provide companionship, drive your loved one to doctors’ appointments or pick up the medications from the pharmacy. Plus, in home care, even for several hours a day, is more affordable than 24/7 living quarters in an independent retirement center or assisted living. This way, in home care services are better for the adult child’s bank account, their mental health, and their senior’s overall health. It’s a win-win-win situation.
For most adult children, the “notice” that they’ve become their loved one’s primary caregiver doesn’t happen in controlled and calm environment. It usually happens at the most inopportune time like when you’re on a plane for a business meeting or visiting an out-of-state university with your child. The knowledge gap for learning how to provide professional care for your loved one is astronomical and this is where in home caregivers become especially handy.
In home caregivers can pick up the slack in the home, completing chores, and running errands. More than that however, in home caregivers can provide the adult child. Many in home caregivers start as nurses, so they know problems to look for and even have tools and techniques to help should anything befall your loved one.
What’s even better is in home caregivers have extremely flexible work schedules. So if you need a substantial amount of help in the beginning to help educate you, that is something they can provide. If you need respite for a few weeks while you take a vacation, that’s something an in home caregiver can provide. And if your elder needs more or less care as time goes on, that’s something that can be scheduled and worked out.
If you need help with senior care immediately, or if you sense that it may be something you need soon, then contact Havenwood Home Care. We will find you the perfect fit to suit you (and your loved one’s) needs.