Caring for an aging parent can be a daunting prospect for siblings, but an even greater task for an only child. Without support from other siblings, an only child bears the responsibility of managing senior care for their parents.
Single-handedly taking care of an aging parent has a significant impact on the overall health, well-being and career of the only child. If you are in this position it is likely that you feel overwhelmed, emotionally stressed and may even be experiencing loss of work opportunities or a dwindling social circle.
Trying to balance care, your career, and a social life can also have a negative effect on your parents. It is simply impossible for one person to have multiple schedules in their head and never forget a single appointment. Having too many things on your mind could cause you to forget important events or details in your parent’s life.
It is beneficial to start thinking about care for your parents long before they need it. This will give you and your parents time to prepare emotionally, physically, and financially. Begin the discussion by saying that you know they are in good health, and will be for a long time to come, but encourage them to think about what you’ll do as they get older. It might be difficult for your parents to accept that they are aging, but avoiding the topic could lead to being unprepared when action is needed. Ask your parents specific questions to make them think about real issues around their age.
As your parents age they face challenges that you may not know how to address, one way to help determine the need for assistance is through an assessment. You may conduct assessments on your own, but Home Care Partners of Nebraska can help lead you through this process. We will discuss the results with you and offer practical assistance, such as caregiver services and housing options.
If you’re doing an assessment on your own, click here for a list to use as a guide provided by the AARP. Explore as many of these areas as you can to get a full picture of your loved one’s life. We also provide a Prepare to Care Guide for information on caregiver resources and planning.
As an only child, we know that you love your parents and want to give them as much comfort as possible in their old age. Remember that even if you do not have a sibling there to assist you, you’re not alone. Home Care Partners is here to help relieve stress in the lives of children that are the sole Caregivers in their family. We engage in care partnerships with the family to give your loved one the best care possible.
To start care for a loved one, reach out to us at 402-780-1211 or visit Contact Us for more ways to connect.