Owners' Blog

Is It Always Best to Become a Family Caregiver?

By Hilary and Greg Eldridge

Caring for an elderly parent can be a touchy subject. Traditionally, women have often been called to fill the role. If you have a full-time job, children, and a significant other, balancing your parent's care with your own family can be tough.

Chronic conditions and declining mobility can make it hard for your parent to complete daily activities of living. When your parent can no longer get in and out of the shower without feeling unsafe, supportive services are necessary. Help with housework and laundry are common requests. Meal preparation is another task some seniors struggle to complete.

The cost of senior care can be hard to afford. This is when family members begin to talk about having a sibling provide the necessary daily care. This isn't always the ideal path to take.

Weigh the Pros and Cons

Consider the pros and cons of providing care to your parent. Clearly, you know your mom or dad best. The care you'll give will be very personalized from the start.

Being a caregiver isn't always easy. There may be days your mom or dad is particularly stubborn or argumentative. Your dad may start to insult you. Your mom may storm off and lock herself in a bathroom. You'll often have to negotiate what gets done and what can be put off for a day.

Discord Among Other Family Members

One woman wrote into an advice column asking how to handle the situation when you aren't sure being a caregiver is for you. In her case, the original deal was that she would provide all of her mom's care and get the house instead of a caregiver stipend. She had to quit a job to care for her mom, so she'd be living off her savings.

After moving in, her siblings decided that deal was unfair to them. If their mom died two months later, they felt she was getting too much. They couldn't help her provide the care, but they also felt that the value of the house was too high for them to let her have it all. They wanted to sell the house after their mom passed away and split the proceeds.

If you do decide to become a family caregiver, make sure you draw up a contract. There's no knowing when greed or jealousy may come into play. If your siblings will not agree to a contract, don't agree to give up your home or job. You need the contract to ensure you're protected.

Senior Care Can Help

There are ways to arrange senior care to meet your mom's budget. You might be able to balance professional senior care with the care you provide. The best way to see how it can work out is by calling a senior care agency and asking about schedules and prices.

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring senior care in Marietta, GA, please contact the caring staff at Home Helpers, call (678) 430-8511.