Jan 10, 2021

Caring for A Loved One

There is an old Italian saying that 2 parents can care for 10 children; but that one son or daughter cannot care for one parent.  It is the Italian version of Jewish Guilt.  In many ways, it can be true.  While many people age 65 or older are able to care for themselves fairly well for years, others struggle with aspects of daily life.  When that happens members of the family need to step in; yet the reality is that many families are dealing with their jobs, divorce, financial issues, drug and alcohol addiction and issues with their older children at a time when an aging loved one needs help.  

Unfortunately, not all families that have the means to buy home care, or to pay for senior care communities so that means regardless of what else may be going on in the family, somebody needs to take responsibility for an aging parent.  In some cases,  Mom or Dad ends up moving into a son or daughter's house because there is no other alternative.  Either way it may require 10 or more hours a week dealing with shopping, doctor's appointments,  managing money and many other issues that require attention.  More and more everything is done on the Internet and sometimes aging parents just don't have the skill set or even a computer to make things happen.  While technology can help monitor what is going on with a parent living alone and there are life alert systems, which are good, there is no substitute for being there a few times a week.  

If there is more than one sibling, it may be possible to divide responsibilities to share the workload.  Sometimes this works; but more often than not, it is one sibling that ends up doing everything.   With people living to be 90 or more, this care giver role can go on for years.  Families need to make the best of a difficult situation seeking out support services whenever needed.  It is not a shame to ask for help.