The moment you take on the responsibility of supporting an aging parent, you are joining millions of other Americans. In fact, the most recent estimates are that 44 million Americans are acting as family caregivers (Forbes). Those are incredible numbers, but what gets missed in the stats is the emotional wear and tear, the toll this type of work can have.
In many cases, the relationship between an adult child and their aging parent will often be put under strain when they’re a caregiver for them.
The dynamic of that relationship changes. Instead of the parent looking out for their child, the child is worried about the safety and well-being of their elderly mother or father. As a result, that adult child, even with the best of intentions, may inadvertently overstep boundaries that shouldn’t be crossed.
For example, an adult child acting as a family caregiver may begin telling her aging mother what activities to avoid. “Don’t go to the store without me,” she might say, worried her mother could get hurt, lost, or make bad choices.
“You shouldn’t try to clean the gutters out by yourself,” he might tell his elderly father. These are things elderly men and women have done most of their adult life, often without issue.
How do you suppose those aging parents will take the comments? Probably not well. In fact, even though they fully understand their adult child is looking out for their best interest, it can be disconcerting.
Home care is the way to go.
In fact, for any senior who is having difficulty at this point in their life with mobility, health, or other factors, home care is by far the better option.
Why is this the case? Because of the experience, most home care providers bring to the table. The majority of family caregivers have never done this type of work before they’re thrust into the role of a primary caregiver for an aging parent or grandparent.
Experience matters. Experienced home care providers can support their elderly clients while simultaneously maintaining an air of dignity for them. That will allow the adult children of these aging men and women to focus on the relationship, rather than trying to be a parent to their parent.
When you have been a caregiver for an elderly parent or another family member, but feel more like an employee or hard-nosed boss, have lost connection to the relationship, now is the time to look into home care support services. When you hire through a quality agency, you won’t regret this choice.