When people get older, they often need assistance in everyday life due to injuries or sickness. Balancing a career, children and ageing parents can be very stressful and tiring. In many families, women are the ones who become caregivers and not men. If you are a daughter whose parent is in need of caring, there are a few things you need to know.
Make a list and be realistic
To understand how much you have to do to keep your parent at home, write all the tasks on a paper and define how often they need to be taken care of. Is it only during the day or also during the night? If they need constant care, then you will soon be completely burned out. Quitting your job or working part-time will affect your finances, but a full-time job plus caring for an ageing parent isn’t healthy for you. Be realistic and admit that you need to get some help.
Find some help
It’s understandable that you want to keep your parent at home as long as it’s possible, but you also have to ask yourself whether can you help them anymore. It’s important that you think of yourself too. To keep things going smoothly and not get sick yourself, get some caregiving help. You can ask family members to help a few days a week, to take your parent to see a doctor and help them get home without getting lost or falling. If you can afford it, think about hiring an in-home caring assistant. Look around for an adult day program where your parent could socialize with other people and get appropriate care while you are working or resting.
Consider assisted living
If your parent is having difficulties with walking and moving in general, or is suffering from dementia, you should think about putting them in an aged care facility. Modern communities, as the aged care facilities at Mark Moran Vaucluse, for instance, offer 24-hour qualified care, concierge and security services at elder people’s disposal. Keep in mind that your parents will get care and help there that you can’t provide. They will have meals made in accordance with their health and also 24/7 help from the nurses and the clinical team.
Watch the signs
When is the right time to put your parent in an aged care facility? If your mum or dad are frequently hospitalized, if they have fallen down countless times and hurt themselves, if they are getting confused and disoriented, you should seriously think about putting them in an aged care facility. A working daughter who is a caregiver also shows some signs – her temper is shorter than ever, she injured herself while helping her ageing parent, her physical or mental health is deteriorating or she has no help from her family members.
Talk to your parent
Most elder people don’t want to go to an aged care facility and that’s why you have the task of assuring them that they will benefit from it. Be gentle and think of their feelings while you are talking to them about it. If your parent had fallen, but luckily didn’t get hurt, gently tell them that it was a close call and that it would be much better if somebody was there to look after them. Visit a family member or a friend who already lives in an aged care facility and while you’re there, be patient. Walk around the facility with your parent, let him or her see what it is like to really live there. Show them older people playing games, talking or taking care of flower pots. Help them realize that they can still have their independence.
Once you’ve moved your parent into an aged care facility, it is very important that you visit them regularly. First of all, you will get to see whether they are healthy and safe and react if something is amiss. Visiting your parent will show him or her that you still love them dearly and didn’t forget them. If you can’t visit every day, then make sure to call them, write them or video-chat over Skype or Viber.
Finally, don’t feel bad if you have to put your mum or dad in an aged care facility. You know that you did your best and that you took care of them for as long as it was possible. Old age is normal and everybody will need a helping hand to live through it with dignity.