Is Organizing Care for an Elderly Loved One the Easy Way Out?
Many adult children of senior citizens face a horrible decision when it comes to elder care. On the one hand, they feel obligated to provide hands-on, day-to-day assistance to the people who raised them. But on the other hand, they know deep down that they aren’t cut out for the task.
Some of us just aren’t well-suited to work as home health aides. We might not have the physical strength, the enormous patience required, or even the flexibility to care for our spouses, children, and careers while also looking after another person who could need constant assistance. And yet, the message we get from society (and other family members) is that looking for outside help means “taking the easy way out.”
I don’t agree with that notion. You can love your elderly parent without becoming a personal caregiver. Once I realized this truth it changed my life. It also led me to explore the concept of a “care organizer,” a role I dove into and explain in detail throughout my book.
Here are a few things I learned along the way…
The Reality of Organizing Care for an Elder
Here is the truth: organizing care for an aging parent is far from an easy job. And, it’s often the best solution for everyone involved.
To help you understand why, let’s begin with some of the things you might have to handle for an aging parent on a regular basis:
- Paying bills, filing income taxes, and looking after banking investments
- Scheduling maintenance (furnace repairs, carpet cleaning, etc.) for the home
- Following up on doctor’s visits and insurance paperwork
- Managing rental properties and other investments or financial details
- Shopping online for clothes, arranging social visits, etc.
Staying on top of these details like this could easily take 10 or 20 hours a week. It’s like having a second career. If you doubt that, just try to hire a personal assistant and see what they will charge. I’m not sure how most adults could possibly do all of that and personally administer medications, help their parent dress and bathe, or do any of the other tasks that health aides perform for an elderly person.
That brings me to another important issue: you are probably not qualified to serve as someone’s nurse. Attempting to fill that role would be frustrating and dangerous for both you and your loved one.
The best thing you can do for your parent is to love them, be involved with their life, and be sure they are getting all the attention and expertise they need. Doing that while leaving their hands-on tasks to someone else might seem like the easy route from the outside, but someone who takes on the role of organizing care will discover the truth quickly enough.
Want to Know More About Serving as a Care Organizer?
My experiences with my aging mom and dad taught me there is a better way to handle elder care, especially if you have to look after your loved ones from a distance. For some good advice on the subject, follow my Facebook page so you’ll be notified about my follow-up article on the topic, or ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY.
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