March 2, 2011

More Tips for Caregivers of the Elder Generation

Do you have a parent that needs care, or older relatives needing to be cared for. This can mean many challenges for the “in-between” or sandwich generation. No, this is not a repeat of the last blog.

What are the problems that you will face if you take on the care of a parent or older relative? How will your children react? How will the parent(s) react? These are just two of a multitude of problems and hurdles you will face. Many problems may be financial and others will be dealing with human nature. When I speak about a parent I put the (s) after to indicate possibly both and I want you to understand this could also be an older relative like an aunt or uncle and even a distant relative that has been close to you or your family.

Decisions need to be made and sometimes there just does not seem to be enough hours in a day. Will the parent(s) be able to completely care for themselves, only care partially with some or many limits, or will they be totally unable to care for themselves.

Decisions need to be made about where the parent(s) is going to live. Will they be able to stay in the home, and will it be necessary to have round the clock supervision or just a daily visit or someone only during the day? If it is just one parent, do you have room for an additional person living in your house? Or will an assisted living facility or nursing home be necessary? How is the person going to be able to get to and from doctors and other appointments?

These are just a few of the decisions to be made concerning the parent(s). Will you be able to handle the finances for their care or does the parent have the money available? If you are a single parent, how will this affect you and your children? Even if you and your spouse have a stable marriage, looking after a parent can place a burden on the marriage.

This is the reason for the prior blog to provide sources of assistance. Always consider talking to a pastor or minister of your church as they also can often provide resources.

Finally, if the parent(s) will talk about this and make plans before something happens, then many steps can be saved and everyone will know what is expected.

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