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August 14, 2012

Every Adult Child Wants to be a Caregiver, But Can They?

As a child of loving parents, you know how much love and sacrifice was involved with raising you. And it is only natural to want to repay your parents when they are the ones in need. But before you dedicate yourself to taking care of your parents in their retirement years, there are some things you need to know.

Taking care of a parent— transportation to doctor visits, overseeing or helping with finances, preparing meals and sometimes providing a home— can come as a shock. The roles are reversed, and it takes some getting used to. The best possible first step is to educate yourself ahead of time about resources, financial and legal issues, and geriatric health. It is OK to be proactive, just don’'t push parents into situations before they are ready for them.

Do Your Research

When the time comes that parents need more than just a little extra help here and there, explore your options. While you may want to drop everything and care for them around the clock, can you? What about your job? Do you live close enough? What about your own children and family? Plus, to care for an aging adult requires a certain level of skill and knowledge about long-term care.

Emotionally, caring for aging parents can be difficult. Roles have changed and responsibilities shifted. Can you remain objective concerning their needs? Can you ensure that their dignity remains intact? This can be a nearly impossible hurdle to overcome.

How You Can Help

So what can you do? Help your parents plan for their long-term care. Statistics show that 80 percent of adults age 65+ will need long-term care at some point in their lives. It is imperative to plan ahead so parents, children and other family members feel comfortable with the care that will be administered.

There are many retirement communities throughout the country. The Kendal Corporation communities help older adults remain independent while starting a new phase of life-long learning. Kendal also offers a community without walls in Kendal at Home, which is for those who prefer to remain in their homes but want the security of knowing that someone will be there when they need assistance with their own care needs. This effectively lifts the burden from family members and places it on those who have dedicated their lives to knowing how to care for older adults. While the residents and members are the decision makers, a dedicated team of professionals is there to assist and guide them.

While you can be loving and supportive and truly care about your parents’ long-term care, the responsibility of caring for them indefinitely may simply be too much to bear. To learn more about your options, contact Kendal Northern Ohio today. And for more tips on aging successfully, download our free guide, “11 Ways to Age Successfully at Home.” 

kendal at home care coordinators


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