Questions we ask when considering caring for an aging parent

Most people are more than happy to assume a caregiving role for an aging parent, at least initially. But before jumping right into the role, there are some significant questions you should ask yourself, and the answers to these questions should tell you how prepared you are to take on that kind of responsibility. 

Is this something you really want to do? 

If you are the only person available to take care of an aging parent, you don’t really have much choice. But if there are other siblings who might either contribute or share responsibility with you, you would be well-advised to have a discussion with them, so you can work out some kind of group care that can work well.

Do you have the time? 

Before committing yourself to the role of full-time caregiver, make sure you actually have the kind of time it will take. Don’t underestimate how much time will be required to adequately care for an aging or ill parent, because in some cases it can be a full-time job.

Are you physically capable of filling the role? 

The degree of physical involvement necessary in caring for an elderly parent will vary, depending on the health your parent currently has. If they are disabled and have difficulty navigating, you may have to physically support them as they move around the house. You may even have to do some lifting to help them get into or out of a bathtub, and to provide support for other daily tasks.

How will your family be affected? 

If you have your own family, how will they be impacted by your role as caregiver? Will these responsibilities require so much of your time that it takes away significantly from time with your family? Can you be a caregiver at the same time that you’re being a husband/wife and father/mother?

Are you financially able to assume this burden? 

There is always a significant cost associated with taking on a caregiver role, especially if your elderly parent moves into your house with you. It may not seem like much, feeding one extra person, but there are always a number of other expenses associated with becoming a full-time caregiver, or even a part-time one. 

How will the role affect your physical and emotional health? 
You can expect that your own health will be impacted in several ways, especially if your parent is largely dependent on you for care. You may not get as much sleep as you did before, you may be required to be available for support during a large part of the day, and you might come to find it emotionally draining to supply constant care to a dependent parent.
 
Professional Caregivers and Caregiver Support

If you are considering becoming a caregiver to a loved one, or are currently caring for a loved one and need additional support, Gentle Shepherd Home Care provides professional in home care along with respite care to support family caregivers.  A complimentary care assessment may help you determine what care or support can be provided to you and your loved ones.  Contact us for a virtual assessment today. 

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