In an age where medical breakthroughs and technology are allowing people to live longer, often it’s the children of aging parents that are left in a position of having to step in as caregiver in an ailing situation. The impacts of this situation are intense and far reaching and need to be considered carefully when weighing up the options available.
Transitioning into a caregiver role for your elderly parent or parents can be a hugely taxing process, and for those who have always relied on their parent/s for support and guidance the emotional impact of a changed relationship between a parent and a grown child can also bring with it a deep sense of loss. This feeling of loss is often also felt by the aged parent, who may find it difficult to adjust to being the one who needs support rather than the one who gives it.
Growing old does not take away someone’s wish to remain independent, and many older people are resistant to being moved out of their home as they feel they are losing this independence. If an unsuitable living situation reaches a point where a parent has to be moved against their will it adds further stress for all involved. Often the child has a deep sense of family duty influencing the decision to care for their parent themselves, and often this results in the need to give up their career, social life and sense of self.
The emotional impact of caring for an aging parent is only one part of the issue – the impact on general health is also an important consideration, and this can be complex.
Many people who survive past 65 have chronic or life-limiting medical conditions that require a high level of care. In many cases, children who are caring for a parent do not have a good understanding of these conditions and the procedures and medications that are necessary and available to treat them. Although there is are seemingly never-ending resources available on the Internet that can educate caregivers to manage their parents’ medications, there is also a lot of contradictory and false information out there and diligence is needed at all times to make ensure all information is sourced from a reputable website whose material is up to date and accurate.
The Physical Impact
Another important factor to consider, and often the factor that eventuates in a decision to seek residential care, is their limited mobility. If they are unable to rise out of a bed or chair, for example, a certain amount of physical lifting may be involved. There is also the consideration of how self-sufficient they are on the toilet and in the shower.
When the time comes to make the decision to move an elderly parent into residential care it’s important to find the right home for them. At Infinite Care we encourage families to be as involved as possible in their loved ones lives. We have dedicated areas for families to spend quality time together any time, but we also offer many options for families who may be too busy to visit often. We have an online messaging system (add in), ipads for facetime and skype and unlimited internet access and technical assistance to access emails, facebook and more.
We know that the more connection our residents feel to the outside world and to their loved ones the happier and more relevant they feel and that’s important to us.
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