One of the most difficult things we ever have to do is to hand over or share the caregiving of the seniors in our lives. For some reason, either we think we know them best and therefore can care for them the best, or because we really feel it is our responsibility, we are very reluctant to trust others to care for our elders.
But this attitude, although admirable, in most cases is not practical or even doable for the family caregivers.
So what can you do to move forward mentally and then actively to change this situation?
Having had personal experience with this situation, I can relate what our family did.
It is important to say upfront that we had an incredible mother; loving, caring and generous to a fault. Just the best! But as so often happens as time progresses, her weakening health changed all our lives. At first we were adamant that between us, three children, we would provide for her every need.
But for any of you who have shared these declining years with a beloved parent or family member, you know that this is often just not possible. When we realized that her needs were multiplying and outweighing what we could provide, we were all employed and raising children, we sat down together to take a look at our options.
This was not easy, but it was certainly necessary. What we did was to brainstorm all the details of care that she needed, then we wrote down all the possible options that we could think of where this care could be found. These options ranged from in-home care to nursing homes. Our next consideration was the financial side and we looked at the budget that we had to work with. Remember, this was all being written down and was there to reference.
Finally, we thoroughly discussed and agreed upon the qualities that we felt were absolutely essential for our mother's caregivers to have. It was at this point that we all started to feel a sense of relief…we were all on the same page. Now for the plan-who would research what, who would phone where.
Ultimately, we were able to come up with a great plan, and were able to keep Mom in her condo with a combination of family care and the help of eldercare workers. These were absolutely incredible women, and to this day, I remember them with great affection and immeasurable gratitude. They cared for her with such kindness and compassion. They allowed her to retain what dignity she could, and always exceeded our expectations. Every one of them attended her funeral.
The wonderful thing now, twelve years later, is that with the demographics of our society, there are so many varied and appealing options for our elderly. With the help of amazing sites like eldercare.com, once you have decided what you need, want and can afford, the help is there for you.
Remember, families of the elderly have a responsibility not only to their seniors, but to themselves as well. The help is there and it is good…reach out!