Family life is always busy, and there are many demands on our time each day. We manage our careers, many of us raise children, and the hours disappear quickly each week as we juggle responsibilities.
A significant worry for many families comes as senior parents grow older, and become less independent. Adult children can suddenly find themselves responsible to help with healthcare, financial, and other responsibilities for their senior mom or dad – or actually stepping in to assist with personal care on a regular basis. This can become a gradual concern or suddenly become a crisis overnight. It can be a huge demand on time and energy, with exhausted kids adding senior care to their already overwhelming to-do lists. They may be local and devoting time they can’t spare, or living long distances away and trying to assist from afar. Neither is ideal, nor are they sustainable over the long term.
The reality of caring for aging parents
If you have a senior parent in your life, chances are you’ll end up involved in their care at some point. But how can you make this work? If you have a career outside the home, you can’t simply come and go every time a crisis arises. Many families end up choosing to reduce work hours, use up precious sick time or holidays, or simply risk consequences of missing work. Nationally, Canadians are missing enormous amounts of work time to simply manage the necessities of care for their aging parents. This costs families time, money, energy, and often puts adult children out of the running for promotions and other gains at work.
“Caring for aging parents costs Canadians an estimated $33 billion a year in out-of-pocket expenses and time taken from work, and that figure is expected to grow, according to a report released in May of this year by economists at CIBC.
‘An aging population combined with longer lifespans and strained social services has in recent years seen more and more Canadians taking on the role of caregiver for their aging parents,’ CIBC deputy chief economist Benjamin Tal and senior economist Royce Mendes said in their report.
That tendency is likely to intensify in the coming years, they said.”
Source: CBC News Business May 8, 2017 http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/caring-parents-costs-1.4101277
Consider Private In-Home Care
Your mom and dad may be getting older, but this doesn’t have to mean you need to take on a full time or even part time caregiver role. You can love and help take care of them by helping arrange the appropriate care they need, so you can devote the time you do have to staying in touch and enjoying the relationship. Care of seniors requires specialized knowledge and training, and an experienced caregiver can be a valuable resource in ensuring your senior mom or dad stay healthy and safe at home. A caregiver they come to trust and enjoy can provide companionship, offer the personal care they need, and provide feedback and updates to your whole family. Your options for care include Choosing and agency Vs. hiring privately. We recommend you read this article before making your final decision in order to be fully informed.
What to consider when hiring an agency
Your aging parents deserve the best and most competent care available and it’s vitally important to choose the right agency. We’ve put together a list of important considerations when choosing the right agency to help you along:
What about cost?
Yes, there are costs associated with private care, of course, but most families are surprised at the varying levels of care they can choose from, and how long their parents can safely remain at home with support. The fees may end up being less than a family loses by simply trying to struggle through taking on the responsibility – and as an added benefit, the care is local but adult children don’t have to be.
A private caregiver can be that trusted person on-site, and the cost can be shared among multiple adult children no matter where they live. This helps keep the responsibility of senior care easier to manage for all, and reduces strain and resentment caused when one family member tries to take on too much.
How to talk about private senior care with your family
We recommend starting conversations with your aging parents about accepting help early in order to make plans and decisions ahead of time, but in a crisis, you can still reach out for help and get the support you need while you make long term plans. Involve the whole family, and approach it as collaboration so everyone feels heard.
There are many ways to help ease the strain of juggling care of your aging parents with other obligations. Talk to a senior home are specialist and ask them to review their levels of service, and see how their recommendations can help you. You may find that accessing varying levels of home care support for your aging parents is more affordable than you think – and far more sustainable to keep you all healthy and worry-free.
Have questions or feedback on what you just read? Please don’t hesitate to contact us, we’d love to chat with you about how we can help you balance your busy life and put your mind at ease.
~ Senior Homecare by Angels Calgary team