Are You the Right Caregiver for an Aging Parent?

Finding the best care for an elderly parent can be an overwhelming task. Many times, an adult child decides that they are the best person for the job. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

Caring for a parent can be particularly difficult because it is hard to be objective when it comes to someone you are so close to. Further, it can be a tough balancing act between providing the right level of care they and not infringing upon a parent’s independence.

It is rare that an adult child would purposely provide the wrong type of care for a parent. However, sometimes this can happen. For example, many adult children cannot cope with a parent’s limitations and will push them to do more than they are physically able to do because they don’t want to accept the fact that their parent is growing older. Likewise, in order to spare a parent discomfort, a child might not let their parent perform difficult exercises even though it is in the parent’s best interest. Further, sometimes adult children will speak for their parent when that parent is able to speak for themselves.

In almost all cases, seniors are unlikely to complain about their child for fear of offending them. This can lead a senior to become anxious or not get the care they require for fear of causing turmoil.

Of course, it isn’t always the parent that suffers in these situations. Adult children also can experience burnout. This is a state of physical and mental exhaustion that occurs when caregivers believe that they are the only one who can provide the correct care for their loved one. Adult children also may feel guilty if they spend any time caring for themselves.

If you are taking care of an elderly parent, it is important to ask yourself some questions to ensure that it is the right situation for everyone involved:

  1. Am I doing things for my parent that they could be doing themselves?
  2. Does my loved one suffer from a lack of independence?
  3. Do I interrupt or speak for my loved one?
  4. Has my relationship with my parent gone downhill since I began caring for them?

Once an adult child has honestly answered these questions, they may be more open to discussing ways to give up some control and find alternative arrangements that meet everyone’s needs. In such cases, it is important to remember that even if you aren’t caring for your parent full-time, that doesn’t mean that you love them any less. Relinquishing some control may even lead to a closer relationship with your parent.

More important than anything else, however, is that you choose arrangements for senior living that will allow your parent to feel at home. At Parsons House, we understand the importance of making seniors feel comfortable and part of a community. To learn more about our assisted living and memory care services, call us 402.498.9554 or visit us online at parsonshouseassistedliving.com.