Caregiving for parents may be a duty of love that you feel is expected of you. You may even enjoy the thought of giving back to the people who spent most of their lives caring for you. Unfortunately, many don’t understand how difficult caregiving can be.
Caregiving for aging loved ones is physically, emotionally, and financially straining. This is especially true if you plan on going it alone, without professional assistance.
Before deciding to become a caregiver for a parent, be sure to consider whether it’s the best choice for both you and them. Continue reading to learn four essential considerations to make.
1. Are You Physically Capable of Being a Caregiver?
Caregiving for parents can be physically straining, depending on the level of care needed. For some, this means having the stamina to work long days at home. For others, it could mean assisting your parent with other things like sitting, standing, showering, or moving to and from a wheelchair, chair, or bed.
Consider whether you’re strong enough to do these tasks safely. It’s essential to be realistic with yourself. If you attempt to do these tasks but aren’t actually strong enough, you may end up hurting both your parents and yourself.
2. Do You Have Enough Time Available?
Caregiving requires considerable time, but the requirements will vary for each situation. If your parent can still do most things for themselves, you may only need a handful of hours to help them each week. On the other hand, if they’re less capable of caring for themselves, caregiving may be similarly demanding as a full-time job.
Consider the time your parent needs and what you already have on your plate. For example, do you have children who already require a lot of your time? Do you have a full-time job?
3. Do You Have a Support Network?
A support network is essential for caregivers. Not only does a support network ensure you have a backup plan for your parent if you need a break, but it also helps relieve a little stress and demand.
Consider whether there’s someone you trust who can sit with your parent a few hours each week. Can another family member take over one or two responsibilities, like the groceries or transportation to doctor’s visits? Is there a reliable adult daycare you could use a few times each week?
4. Does Your Parent Have a Serious Medical Condition?
Sometimes the elderly need skilled nursing, whether in their own home or an assisted living facility. If your parent has a severe medical condition, professional supervision and assistance are often best for them. Consider their physical and mental health before deciding to start caregiving for parents.
More Questions About Caregiving for Parents?
Millions of Americans provide care for an aging loved one. Most often, this is a parent but could also be another close family member. Before deciding to become a caregiver for your parent, be sure to consider whether it’s the best situation for everyone.
Do you have more questions about caregiving for parents?
Check out our other blogs. You’ll find articles on caregiving, aging, and related topics to help you learn more on the subject.