How much do you really know about taking care of your elderly parent? Before signing on for caregiving, ask yourself the following questions:
1) Do you know their wishes about pain management, daily hygiene, food preferences?
No matter how much we may love our parents, sometimes we really aren’t the right people to care for them on a daily basis. When people say they want to take care of their loved one at home, do they really know what they’re taking on? It’s a 24-hour-a-day commitment, unless you also hire outside help.
2) Even if you have a daytime caregiver, what happens if they get sick and you have a client meeting that day?
3) Are you prepared to forego your own desires to travel, go out for dinner, enjoy “me time”?
4) Does your family member want you to take care of them?
They will experience a huge loss of privacy. Many older people also hate the thought of being a burden to their children.
5) Are you prepared to watch your parent decline on a day-to-day basis?
Or would it be better to let others take care of the daily needs so you can enjoy quality time with them. I’ve seen too many parent/child, not to mention sibling, relationships deteriorate as a result of caregiving.
Down the road, I don’t want my children to take care of me. I plan to leave any care I might need to the professionals. Instead, I want my children to remember all the great years we had together filled with family vacations, holidays, funny experiences and thoughtful conversations.