Depending on your parents’ health, caregiving may be quickly finding its way into your life as a full time job. Maybe even beyond. Are you on call day and night? Do you help them as much at 11pm as you do 11am?
You’re tired. You’re frustrated. You want your life back!
And when many adult children reach this point, they look at assisted living. But is it really the answer? Or are you exchanging one problem for another? One that will cost you a lot of money and energy in the long run.
There is another solution. But before we get there, let’s start with a little experiment.
How much care are you really providing?
Sometimes it’s difficult to really put a finger on how much care you’re providing. Many adult children are surprised at how quickly the time adds up.
For the next week, write down every task you do for your parents. If you pick up something at the drugstore for them, write it down. If you stop by their home to ensure they are taking their medicine, write it down. If you call to check in, write it down. No matter how large or small the task, jot down a few notes so you can get a clear picture of what you do every day. After a few days, you’ll see your life in living color.
Now it’s time for a little evaluation.
Are you surprised at how much care you are providing?
Don’t negate the importance of every task. It’s easy to say: But I had to stop by the drugstore anyway. While that might be the case, it does take extra time to wait in line for a prescription or compare labels on a new product. Would you have waited until you had more on your list if the shopping would have only been for you?
All of this takes time away from the important things in your own life. If you’re spending your time on chores and caregiving for your parents, it’s taking away from your life with your family and friends. And that can add up to insurmountable stress.
You love them. And you don’t mind. It’s what adult children do. We hear that a lot.
But it should never reach the point of overwhelm. It should never become a full time job.
There are lots of options.
Here’s the part most adult children get wrong. They move from “help” to assisted living without batting an eye. Because there are so many assisted living facilities popping up all over town, it’s become a mindset that it’s the natural progression for our parents when they start to fail. Yet there are very few situations that can’t be met by keeping your parents in the comfort of their home instead.
Because even when you put your loved one in assisted living, that won’t end your tasks. You may sign up for assisted living, but chances are the “package” you purchase, no matter how many zeros are at the end of the monthly fee, still won’t cover all there is to do.
If your mom doesn’t like the food, you’ll be bringing her meals. If she can’t make her own bed, the laundry service won’t be enough. If she gets lonely with only a few minutes of interaction with the staff each day, you’ll be dealing with the consequences. And that equates to hours of your time. Time you hoped to get back.
Instead, look to in-home caregiving. It provides you with all the care you need in the comfort of your parents’ home. It provides you with peace of mind as well as precious time. And what’s best is you can hire it 24 hours of the day if needed. And the cost will be a welcome relief when compared to assisted living; a savings that will ensure a better life for mom and dad.
Want to learn more? We’re just a phone call away.