If you have taken responsibility of the care of your parents
Around 2.1 million people receive some sort of informal care annually. Sometimes, this is given by the children of elderly parents who are unable to care for themselves.
Family caregivers usually provide care in the home, and personal care services that are not medical in nature.
Regardless of how much you love your parents, being responsible for your parents care long term is daunting, and is likely to become more challenging the older and more dependant the person gets. It might take its toll on your career, on your family dynamics and on your physical and mental health.
Most family caregivers providing home care would admit that being a carer is challenging and that the expectations on them are high. There are many emotional and practical challenges caring for the elderly.
Key Responsibilities And Roles Of Family Caregivers
- You may need to be in control of your parents finances
- Caring for your parents physical, social and nutritional needs
- Helping your parents attend appointments
- Keeping the home clean and tidy
- Helping to manage the medicine schedule
- Dealing with their emotions as well as your own
- You might be a mum or dad at the same time
- You may need to care for their pets as well as your own
- You may need to keep up with your own career
The roles involved in caring vary greatly depending on the family, but often the position is all encompassing.
How To Maintain Your Position As A Great Carer For Your Parents
If you don’t take control of your role, the time you put into it and your mental health, and you don’t seek help where you need it, then you may well struggle to be good at caring for yourself, let alone your parents. It is so important you look out for yourself if you are providing home care to your parents, so that you can remain strong, happy and healthy and able to care as well as you possibly can.
Getting support is important, and it comes in many different forms, with these two being the most important:
Counselling can help some carers who may have difficult relationships with the parents they care for. Or to just have some ‘me time’ where you can talk about yourself for a whole hour without having to think about anybody else. A simple cup of tea with a friend who is willing to listen to you could be all you need for a boost.
It may be that you need support from professionals who can help you with your role. It could be a carer or home help giving you an afternoon of rest bite. It could be a live-in carer who give you home help support and helps you with the tasks like personal care and physical therapy which are more hands on. Professional support could be available to you, or affordable to you. Getting a care assessment is the first step towards finding out the kind of care your parent needs, and the help that is available to you.
If you are struggling to cope with the care needs of your parents, or you just want some support or help knowing you are doing it right, reach out. Your GP can help, as can the local social services. There are also lots of online resources such as Carers UK and Right At Home UK. The first step is getting more information and admitting you need some help, there is plenty of support out there for you, you are not alone.