As a child, your parents cared for you. They watched you grow up and you watched them grow older. Now that they’re receiving hospice care at home, it’s time for you to become your parent’s caregiver—a process that is not only difficult but also emotionally challenging.
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Challenges When Becoming Your Parent’s Caregiver
When the time comes to take care of a loved one, there are a few challenges you’ll face along the way. While it may seem daunting, there are ways to mitigate the difficulties and make caregiving much easier. Here are seven of the most common challenges.
1. Balancing Work Responsibilities
It’s tough to get everything done without using up all your vacation time and sick days to care for your loved one. The best thing you can do is ask for help. Talk to your coworkers and let them know what’s going on. Ask for help from family members to see if they can step in and help when you’re not there.
2. Finding Time for Your Social Life
It may even seem like you don’t have time to catch up with your friends or go out to dinner with your family because you’re expected to do it all. You need to find time for your social life. Interacting with friends gives you time to unwind and relax. An hour or two without worrying about the next medication dosage can make all the difference.
3. Managing the Financial Responsibility
Managing the finances for your loved ones is stressful; suddenly they’re depending on you to make the right decisions, and they may not be able to provide you with any input. Work to establish a budget and factor in money for surprise expenses. Use mobile apps if necessary. This way, you’ll have a guide to keep things in control.
4. Coping with the Emotional Burden
It’s common for caregivers to become stressed, depressed, and even angry. If you experience these feelings, know that you’re not alone. There are many ways you can cope with the emotional burden. Take a walk, get a cup of coffee with a friend, seek support, or even meditate. Each one will give you a chance to take a deep breath and reset.
5. Staying Organized
Keeping track of your own schedule is tough, but managing your loved one’s schedule as well can be a daunting task. Make use of calendar apps on your phone or a day-planner to keep track of appointments and obligations.
6. Feeling the Need to Say “Yes” All the Time
When you’re caring for a loved one, it can be difficult to say no. It’s important to remember that you have obligations outside of your caregiver duties, and those obligations may require you to say no to your loved one. That is perfectly okay, and no one should hold it against you.
7. Preparing for the Next Steps
No matter how well you look after your loved one, there’s a real possibility that their condition will progress to the point that you won’t be able to care for them on your own. If they’re not already receiving hospice or another type of in-home medical treatment, this will be something you’ll need to look into to ensure that they remain comfortable as they age. In addition, it’s important to always be prepared for the eventuality of their passing.
Related: Does Hospice Mean “The End”?
Whether you’re caring for one parent or both, challenges will be present. Follow these tips and remember to take one day at a time. Looking after yourself will allow you to care for your loved ones that much more effectively.