For anyone who is concerned about their parent’s safety as they get older, having an extended family can be a vital component to alleviating primary caregiver stress. Families tend to become more spread out as children grow up and move away on their own, leaving the parents without much of a support system.
However, for families that remained close, a strong network support system can be an important asset, as parents are in need of assistance as they grow older. Being a caregiver for an aging parent can be an incredibly stressful situation. If you have a family of your own, you already know the obligations that you have to them, your children or spouse or anyone else that you need to take care of. This usually means that your time is limited.
If you have these other obligations and are trying to keep care of an aging parent so that they can continue to live in the comfort of their own home, you will notice that you become more stressed, your patience ends, and your own health may become adversely affected.
That’s why, if you have an extended family who lives within a reasonable proximity of your parents who require some assistance, this can potentially reduce a significant amount of the stress that you are experiencing at the moment. Make arrangements with this extended family and have other adults stop by, check in with your parent, and create a schedule so that you know your parent is being taken care of and looked after every day of the week.
For most family members, being involved in an aging parent’s life is not a burden, but rather a blessing. The main aspect that a number of family members may be concerned about is being stuck with the responsibility of every day of the week. This is what leads to caregiver stress and can cause potentially significant problems in the relationship between the aging individual and family member taking care of him or her.
If your extended family is not willing to become involved in helping out on a regular and consistent basis, the best alternative is to consider live-in home care for your aging parent. You can also choose other levels of home care assistance that could include giving you time off to enjoy your own life and take care of your own family.
Caregiver stress sneaks up on you when you least expect it. Don’t let your desire to take care of an aging loved one create a rift between you and that elderly individual.
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