"I was not prepared for how much my life would change when I became my Dad's caregiver."
Someone had to step up and accept this role as the Caregiver or Care Manager for your parents. That person is you. It was a decision that you made willingly or circumstances brought you in it. Now that you are in this, you have questions of your own. How do I care for my parent and jungle the relationships with my husband/spouse/family? What about my job? What about my goals? What about my life? What about me? These are all great questions. This process of planning for your parents future is not just about them, its about you too.
No one will understand the challenges you face as a Caregiver, unless they've been through it. You will turn to your friends for support but they will not be able to relate. They would like to have a "girls night out" or a spa day. While out having fun with them, all you can do is worry about Mom/Dad at home. You can't escape from your responsibilities as the Care Giver of your parent now. Every day is stressful. Everyday there is another hurdle. More than a girls night what you'd really like is for someone to listen to you, someone to show some sympathy for your struggles or just someone to talk to; but don't expect any of this from your friends. This may sound harsh but its real They just won't understand, but my sister and I do.
We have been through this. We no longer felt a connection to our friends. We felt so alone, but you don't have to! As a member of our website, you will connect with others who are just like you.
I was planning on working until I retired and prepare for my own retirement. Well those plans have changed. Today, there are more women leaving the workforce to care for an elderly parent than women who are leaving to have children. Those who go on maternity leave usually return to the workforce in a few months. However, women who are caring for an elderly parent are leaving the workforce permanently and now this trend is affecting men too.
Job related concerns are not just one sided. While we worry about our career, you employer has concerns of their own. Employers will be facing new employee related issues in the future as more and more of their workforce will be leaving to care for their Baby Boomer Parents. This trend is going to have cost impacts on businesses. It is estimated that it will cost employers $5000 to replace their talented workforce. There will be a huge incentive for business to change their Human Resources Policies to accommodate those of us who are caring for a loved one and want to keep our jobs.
Leaving the workforce is a major decision, with many long term impacts; but sometimes it is the only choice. However, it possible to maintain a full-time job while caring for an elderly parent. When you purchase our Home Coming Plan or become a member of our website, you will receive information on how to approach your employer about this. It is possible to be the Care Manager and keep your job.
Can I get paid for what I am doing? There is nothing wrong with expecting to be paid for the help you provide. An Estate Planning attorney will be able to help address this with your and your parents. There is other information available on this which is available as a Member of our website.
Over time you may find more and more coming out of your own pocket. This will be the time when someone will need to take a serious look at your parents financial situation. Is there a home involved? Are there investments? Is there any savings? Before making any major transactions with your parents finances, you should consult with an Estate Planning Attorney. There may be laws in your state (Pennsylvania is one of them) that apply which may affect certain long-term decisions if and when your parents need to enter a Skilled Nursing Facility. Please consult with an Estate Planning Attorney who will guide you through this process.
Is your spouse or life partner ready to be your partner in this role as your parents Care Giver? Have you two talked about it? The two of you probably never talked about this while dating. Most dating topics are about having children, family values, traditions, but never did the thought of caring for your elderly parents one day ever come up. The two of you made your plans, but now they have changed since Mom is moving in. When our Dad moved in with my husband and I, we were not prepared for how much our lives and relationship would change.
The Care Manager is on duty all the time. You will feel like a machine. It does not make you a bad person for needing or wanting to take a few minutes out of the day to recharge your spirit. There are many ways to go about this; from exercising, to talking a short walk, to reading a chapter in a book, from listening to music, or to meditation. You just have to find the right thing for you.
You may also find strength and encouragement from others just like you in this role of the Care Manager. Remember, you are not alone when you become a member of our website. You will find new connections with people who are just like you.
According to the Bucks County Area on Aging, 50% of Care Managers/Givers end up in depression and 60% of Care Managers/Givers die before the person they care for. This role is going to take its toll on you. The time may come when you have to revisit this living arrangement with your siblings and your parents. It may be time for them to go to live with another sibling; but don't be surprised when they resist this idea. Maybe its time for them to move to a Senior Care Facility. Its going to be a difficult discussion. If you do not feel that this is something you are able to do on your own, visit our Marketplace to find experts to help you through this.
These are just some of the challenges while in this role as the Caregiver but you do not have to go through it one. As a member of our website, you will make connection to other caregivers just like you on our form, you'll find resources right here for you 24/7. Choose one of our affordable support plans to help get you through part of this. We are here to help. We are real!
We invite you to experience the difference in Caregiver Support Services available to you at www.AgingParentsMarketplace.com