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- Emotional And Financial Advice For Caring For Your Elderly Parents - December 29, 2018
In the United States currently, 30% of Americans is caring for an aging relative, and it is expected that the number will continue to grow significantly as the Baby Boomer generation keeps getting older.
There are numerous factors to take into consideration for home Health Care for elderly relatives or parents. When and how you will be providing care is a conversation you need to have with your elderly parent. However, at its best, being able to manage the role reversal that comes with caring for your aging parent, is very challenging, and that is just one of the numerous situations that must be dealt with by caregivers.
Let’s take a look at what caring for an aging relative or parent is like, and cover some of the strategies that can be used to making the care easier on your family and you.
What does Home Health Care Involve?
“Caregiving” is a broad term, and there isn’t any specific definition for everything that it encompasses. Care giving is defined by every national survey in a slightly different way, and that is why how people provide care tends to be all across the map.
The Pew Research Center reports that 58% of adults (or 6 out of 10 report they assist helping their elderly parents with such “sweat equity” tasks, like home repairs, housework, and errands, while 28% reported that they provided financial support to their aging parents.
A high percentage of caregivers, of course, offer assistance with daily living, is referred to as ADL, or Activities for Daily Living. The Caregiving in the U.S. report :
16% with diapers or incontinence
23% assistance with feeding
26% help with bathing or showering
27% provide assistance with getting from and to the toilet
32% assistance with getting dressed
43% provide assistance with getting out of chairs and beds
Those numbers are a reflection of the care that relates to basic living needs of the elderly. However, aging relatives need assistance with many other activities as well. Those are referred to as IADL, or Instrumental Activities for Daily Living. The Caregiving in the United States report cites:
31% provide help with arranging for outside services
46% help out with medical needs, like giving injections or medications
54% provide assistance with finances
61% prepare meals
72% help with housework
76% help with grocery and other types of shopping
78% help with transportation
Also, 63% of caregivers communicate on a regular basis with healthcare providers, while 66% monitor their aging relative or parent’s health and make adjustments to the care based on what their observations are.
A tremendous amount of emotional energy and time from caregivers is required by in home Health Care. It is stated in the Caregiving in the U.S. report that 20 hours worth of care is provided per week by the average caregiver, while at least 40 hours of care is provided every week by 13% of caregivers.
However, several benefits are provided by in home Health Care. The Pew Research Center reports that 88% of caregivers say that it is rewarding to provide help. Also, when you know that you are trying your best to provide your parents with a good life, like they did for you in the past, it is very satisfying.
Different In Home Health Care Paths, and What You Can Expect From Them
When it comes to caregiving, there are two main paths:
The first caregiving path is slow. You may go home to visit and discover that your parents aren’t as healthy as they once were. They might have unsteady balance, their memory might be somewhat foggy, or perhaps their strength is starting to wane. So you start stepping and doing a couple of extra errands or chores for them, or perhaps you drive them to their doctor’s appointments. A few years later, those couple of hours per week have become a part-time job for you.
The second caregiving path occurs quite suddenly, when an unexpected emergency comes up. For instance, your mother might have a stroke, and then she may recover, but her stamina and strength are not what they were in the past. She needs to have a serious amount of help very suddenly around her house, and you end up having to step in to provide her with essential car. Or you may need to step in and help an elderly parent cope with the death of their spouse, and then discover that now that the spouse is gone, they need to have an increasing amount of assistance.
No matter which path introduces you to a caregiving role, it is very important that you acknowledge the reality of the situation. That means you have to confront some painful and emotional truths about having to watch your loved ones continue to age.
Emotional Upheaval Involved in Home Health Care
Children often find it difficult to accept that their parents are losing some of their independence. That is because all us grow up relying on emotional and physical support from our parents. It can be very difficult to lose that, and have to cope with role reversal.
To cope with the situation, start out by accepting the fact that the reality that you have known for so long has changed. Now your parents need help from you instead of the other way around. There are still the parent and child roles, but the responsibilities and demands are changing.
Your relative or parent might be experiencing a lot of angers as the roles continue to change. They have been the ones who were the “authority figure” ever since you were born, no matter how that role is defined b them. They need to watch you now being the one who exercises authority over their lives. That can be very difficult for your parents to accept.
During this time of life, everybody involved will most likely be experience a wide range of emotions. You may experience a more rewarding and deeper relationship with your relative or parent or, you may discover that they are resentful and angry needing to depend on you.
Know that either way, you are caring for the individual out of love So no matter how they might act, they appreciate it, and may express it in unexpected ways.
How To Care For Your Aging Parents Better
People are increasingly choosing to age in house, meaning they age in the current home (instead of moving to a nursing home or assisted living facility). The National Aging in Place Council reports that 90% of all seniors prefer aging in place. This means that children and neighbors are required to take on an increased amount of the caregiving responsibilities.
Providing in home Health Care for aging friends, relatives, or parents is very rewarding. Also it is frequently an emotional and challenging experience.
The following strategies can assist you with providing an aging relative or parent with better care. However, depending where you specifically are within the care giving process, they might not all apply to your specific situation. Just take what things work with you, and disregard everything else.
Hold an Honest Family Meeting
Get a family meeting set up if you have notice that your relative or parent needs extra help at home so that you can discuss the situation. Be sure that all of our siblings are at the meeting (even if they need to participate via a video call or over the phone) and that everybody is informed on the medical status of your parent.
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