One of the hardest decisions as a family caregiver for an aging parent, is knowing when to take over and when to let things go. Rarely do you find a family caregiver who relishes taking over the monitoring of daily activities for an aging loved one. It involves a lot more work and even more emotional stress. No one wants to feel like they're taking away their loved one's dignity, and many times this leads to a lot of watching and waiting, sometimes until it is too late.
Safety Isn't The Only Factor
While safety is one of the biggest factors, it shouldn't be the only one helping to make the decision. One common struggle that illustrates this idea is medication management. Many family caregivers have the common story of setting up the pill box on Sunday, and by Wednesday it's in disarray. The wrong pills have been taken on the wrong day. In this example, we have to not only consider their safety but also their physical health. If they are not getting their meds in the right doses or at the right times, it could lead to serious health issues and even hospitalization. Here it might be good to make sure someone is watching them take their pills or even implementing the use of a med box that only distributes medicines based on a time. Each of these options is readily available as part of the medication management services provided by Freudenthal in-home care.
On the other hand, your loved one may just want to be able to use the restroom on their own. In this case you may be able to use various items like a raised commode seat and bars in order to help them maintain that sense of dignity. In each of these cases there needs to be an open and honest discussion with your aging loved one, and a willingness to listen to their point of view.
Start The Discussion Early
Too many times the conversation about a contingency plan for aging loved ones doesn't happen as early as it should. It gets placed on the back burner until the loved one is already experiencing issues both mentally and physically. Start talking with them early, when they can be an active part of the conversation and planning. This can help to alleviate some of the emotional stress for both the family caregiver and the aging loved one when the time comes to make a change.
Avoid A Hostile Takeover
Try to take an incremental approach to taking over or helping with your loved ones activities of daily living. This can be achieved by keeping the care discussion going at regular intervals. Encourage your loved one to do as much as they can but also to reach out for help when they need it. It can be a hard balance to find, but keep the communication lines open.
Don't Hesitate To Reach Out For Help
As family caregivers, there can be a certain amount of pride, guilt, and sometimes even financial concerns, that keep us from reaching out for help. We want to take everything on our shoulders and that just isn't possible. When you find yourself in moments of doubt, anger, depression, or any other number of emotions that linger on the edge of burn-out, give Freudenthal a call, we can help.