The adult children of aging parents often feel pressured into caring for their mom and dad. As their health and abilities change, it’s almost expected to have immediate family members providing the caregiver help they need. Distant family members may even become accusatory if you don’t drop everything to help.
What if you feel it’s too much? You have a full-time job, children at home, a spouse or significant other, and person and social needs. How are you supposed to balance everything? You need to ask yourself if it’s truly your responsibility to care for them.
Sit Down With Your Boss
If you’re the one providing care for your parents, for now, let your boss know. You may not need time off, but the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) protects you from losing your job if you need to take weeks off. Not everyone qualifies for FMLA, so it’s important to see if you do.
Talk to Your Brothers and Sisters
Once you know your rights at work, talk to your siblings. They should be helping out in some way. Even if your sister lives on the other side of the country, she could be helping arrange appointments or keeping track of bills and bank balances.
Join Virtual or In-Person Support Groups
Take care of yourself. If you feel pressured or overwhelmed, surround yourself with people in a support group. You’ll find support groups online or locally in churches, hospitals, and senior centers.
You might think you have more experience with certain chronic health conditions or caring for an aging parent than the others. But, they may have tips to share with you. Bouncing ideas and suggestions off others can help you find easier ways to do things for your parents.
Research Professional Caregiver Services
Look into caregiver services that help them with daily activities of living. Transportation services provide them with a ride to and from stores, dental offices, and medical buildings. Meal preparation services have caregivers cooking meals and snacks for your parents. Housekeeping, laundry, companionship, and organization are other helpful services.
It’s okay to feel that you’re not in the best situation to care for your parents. Caregiver services exist for that reason. It’s often a more caring act to arrange senior care aides to help your parents. When you visit, it allows you to spend quality time together instead of rushing to get every chore on the list completed before it’s time to go.