I'm not sure that I am prepared to be my parents Caregiver
Defining the Challenges
"I'm not ready for this Journey. I've never done this before. I'm not able to do this."
I thought my parents had a plan for this stage in their life."
Achieve better Understanding of the challenges so that you are better able to navigate them through Journey with an Aging Parent or Loved one.
Take a Deeper Dive Into the challenges and learn about strategies to get you through them.
Do you have realistic expectations?
My parent/loved one is coming home, I don't need any help.
Unrealistic. We feel an obligation to accept the responsiblity as the caregiver for our parents but we're just not prepared for it. Statistics show that patients return home to untrained care providers. No matter how many flyers the discharge nurse hands you, it will not prepare you for that first night home, bathing and bathroom issues, maneuvering challenges, etc. This is all very real! Having a home care aide with you the first couple of days and nights especially is invaluable. Don't penny pinch. You may have out of pocket expenses but the peace of mind and help they provide is worth it.
I think my sibling(s) should have to pay for some of these care expenses?
Unrealistic. When you assume the role as the Caregiver or Care Manager for a loved one, the family dynamic is going to change. Our advice is get over it now. Families should want to come together to help their parents, however strange things happen when conversations about collaborating on care expenses come up. Try to have a conversation with your siblings to find out where they stand on this and then move on. The ideal scenario is to have all of this worked out as a family early on which is one of the goals of this website - to help you prepare for this stage. However, here you are now dealing with the costs of your parent's care. You own this role- now run with it.
You will love the first/helper aide assigned to your loved one.
Un-realistic. The Home Care Agency may have to assign several different aides before finding the right fit for your parent. Be patient and give it some time before you dismiss someone. It takes time to create bond.
Once I hire a Helper Agency, I can check out.
Unrealistic. Just as it is important for your loved one to bond with their home care aide – so should you. Develop a relationship with them by defining expectations and listening to their feedback about changes in your parent’s status. You must remain connected to this process, even if you do not need to be there in person.
I expect the home care agency to do tasks for both of my parents.
Unrealistic. Unless that is what is agreed upon by the Agency, the Home Care Aide will only be caring for one of your parents - "the patient." When working with a homecare agency, they refer to your loved one as “the Patient” and they are being hired to provide "patient care services'. The Home Care Aide will be assigned to only one "patient" and will not perform common duties when their are two parents in the household, ie. medication reminders, laundry, or meal prep. If this is your need, then look at hiring a private care person. This becomes especially complex if you are trying to pay for services using Long-Term Care Insurance.
With Long Term Care insurance (LTC), my parents can hire whoever they want.
Realistic-ish. They can hire whoever the want but there are guidelines to the policy that must be followed. There will be an allowance on the hourly rate and a limit on the number of hours an aide may work per week. The agency will need to be informed in advance that a LTC plan is in place and they will have to agree to working within the terms of the policy. Not all agencies accept LTC insurance but if they do, then they will coordinate the reporting and payments directly with the insurance agency. Note: If you have two parents on a LTC policy, read the fine print and talk to the agency on how this will work with them. Do not assume!
I'll find this information on another website.
Unrealistic. The Aging Parents Management is unlike any other website. It was designed because information was so hard to find. Now, the resources, tools and support to help you as the Caregiver for your aging parent or loved one are all in one place - Easier for you to find!
My Parent/Love one does not need a Will!
Unrealistic! Everyone who has anything needs a Will. Just because you are their son or daughter does not give you automatic rights to your parents stuff when they die.
My Parent has a POA so they do not need a Will!
Unrealistic! A POA and a Will are not interchangeable. A POA makes you the authorized legal representative while the person is alive. The POA then expires and is no longer vailid when that person passes away. The Executor/Executrix become the authorized legal representative but it is not automatic. You must request this from the County Register of Wills where the person resided. It is a process just like anything thing else.
Anastasia, Aging Parents Management
The Journey with our Mom and Dad is going to be different than the one you'll have with your parents. However, what is the same are our needs as Caregivers - information, resources and someone to guide us.
That feeling of not knowing what you are looking for is normal for Caregivers. There weren't any prep classes for this in college nor was any of this mentioned throughout our childhood.
The problem isn't your situation or your parents. The issue lies within the eldercare industry. Most of the information is targeted at the senior demographic or the aging baby boomer population.
Here's a reality check. They might have been saving and planning for retirement but it is us as their adult children who are putting those plans into motion.