#36 Family Caregiving – Stressful and Satisfying

When it comes to planning, my parents have always been ahead of the game. They moved into a condo before my brother and I thought they needed to and now are talking about moving into an assisted living facility. At 87 and 88 they are slowing down. Mom still cooks most of their meals and dad drives around the town they live in so they can pick up small amounts of groceries and go to medical appointments.

Lately mom has had some health problems that her family doctor is trying to figure out and dad’s shingles still bother him. Is it time for a change? Who knows. I have looked into having a home care aide come in once a week for about 4 – 6 hours and see if that is enough. We will meet next week and put that in place.

The assisted daily living facilities seem to be small and I think it would be a difficult adjustment for my parents to live in it. Also when my mom cracked her pelvis they had meals on wheels and they didn’t enjoy the meals so I can’t see they would adjust to three meals a day in an assisted daily living facility.¬† The place they live in offers meals and they go down for dinner twice a week and that seems to be enough.

So far mom and dad make their own decisions and my brother and I support them. Hopefully a home care aide once a week will allow them to be in their own home and still feel safe and happy…..I’m not alone in this care giving role. Almost all of our friends are making this caregiving¬† journey too. What I hope is that I’m filing away what I’m learning so as we age, we have a plan in place so our kids don’t have to make difficult decisions some of our friends have had to make.

Even when your parents try to be positive, keep their sense of humour and not put too much pressure on their kids, it is still a stressful time. I think mainly I feel so sad that my parents are fading and wish I could magically fix it. I know it is a journey and I’m lucky to be part of it. Many people my age don’t have loving parents.