What to Consider Before Caregiving for Your Parent
How much do you really know about taking care of your elderly parent? Do you know their wishes about pain management, daily hygiene, food preferences? No matter how much we may love our parent, 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. What happens if your daytime caregiver gets sick and you have a client meeting that day? Are you prepared to forego your own desires to travel, go out for dinner, enjoy “me time”?
Even if you are prepared to make personal sacrifices out of love and respect for your parent, I would ask two questions. First, 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.
Second, are you prepared to watch your parent’s 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 physical care of me. I want them to remember the active years filled with family vacations, holidays, funny experiences and thoughtful conversations.