Becoming the Designated Grown-Up for an Aging Parent

mother-daughter-walk-togetherBeing a caregiver can be one of the most selfless yet challenging things you can do. The National Institute on Aging  declares that some common feelings of caregivers are frustration and guilt.  Feeling overwhelmed can also be a  common experience in this profession. When you can, give yourself a break and  take a walk, talk with friends, or get some sleep.

Caring for a parent can bring on additional difficulties since you may also face the obstacle of switching roles by becoming the parental figure to your own parent. It can feel strange and unfamiliar, but it is now your duty to intervene in their actions to keep them safe.

According to the Sourcewise Area Plan on Aging 2020-2024, nearly one in three caregivers within California indicated they would rely on themselves (17%) or did not know who to call (15%) when they were asked where they would call to arrange help in the home for their loved ones. If you find yourself needing to step in to support your parent when they are most vulnerable, resist the urge of trying to take on all responsibilities.

Set time aside to place some strategies and expectations around communication to better organize your lives. The Institute on Aging offers some ideas that family or friends can take on to contribute to caregiving efforts.

  • Managing bills and finance
  • Attending to home repairs and upgrades to ensure safety and accessibility
  • Handling phone calls with insurance and service providers
  • Being an advocate at doctor’s and other appointments
  • Setting up technology devices so your parent can communicate with family or friends

Delegating tasks to others can lighten the load as the primary family caregiver and will allow you to focus on catering to your parents’ needs.

To learn about caregiver support through the Caregivers Network by Sourcewise, speak with a Community Resource Specialist: (408) 350-3200, option 1.

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