Who is going to take care of my parent’s when they are old?
Caught In The Middle
Dear Caught In The Middle,
You are not alone! Just listen for a moment, at any gathering of your friends, and there is a 100% chance of someone beginning a conversation involving their “Aging Parents”. The Baby Boomers have been described as the “Sandwich Generation”; caught in the middle caring for both children and aging parents, but what can be done to lighten the load?
As most children worry about their aging parents, the facts have shown that Middle-aged adults will probably spend more years caring for a parent than they did for their own children. This is in part to the increased life expectancy to age 80. So, where do you find the help you will inevitably need?
One option is bringing the parent into your home. Believe it or not, not only is that an option YOU resist, but your parent resists it more! They DO NOT want to be that burden. They also do not want to be made to feel incompetent, or dependent. Remember, they raised you. The better option is the “Village” approach.
As a Registered Nurse Geriatric Care ManagerA Registered Nurse Geriatric Care Manager is someone with special healthcare credentials who can customize care for you or a loved one. Whether you are making a transition from your home to a retirement community, or if you need assistance to remain in your home, your Registered Nurse Geriatric Care Manager handles all the details., I meet with the aging parent and their children…You. Together we assess the situation, the family availability, community options, free and out-of-pocket options in your area. I then develop a Plan Of Care that keeps your parent in their own home, safe and happy. The community supports include church volunteers, adult day centers, meal delivery programs and home monitoring. The out-of-pocket expenses would be the hiring of an in home Caregiver to supplement family support or Assisted Living facilities.There are payment options available to your parent depending on their financial capabilities and all of that will be explained during the assessment. It is important to note that the plan you develop today is a fluid one. As your parents needs change, so do the levels and types of care your parent will require. Be patient. Breathe. Share your frustration when you need to with your parent. They are frustrated also, but together there is a way to get through this difficult time.
As always, the answers to your Caregiving questions are only a few clicks away.
Very truly yours,
Janice Guckin Barry, RN, Dear Nurse