We recently began working with a woman who was worn down. She had been trying to care for her aging father, her own young children and her career at the same time. Her father only required help occasionally at first; however, his needs increased with time. Gradually, the responsibility became unmanageable.
When she came to us, she was running errands, taking her father to appointments, handling his housekeeping, doing laundry and preparing meals. It was impossible to juggle these responsibilities and the rest of her life, and she was overwhelmed. After noticing signs of severe fatigue, irritability and stress, she turned to us for outside assistance.
Improving Quality of Life
Our care aims to help the entire family throughout the aging process, and everyone values a different aspect of what we do. Elders often realize they have been more constrained than they thought. For them, in-home care can mean the freedom to pick up lost hobbies and personal activities. For you, life can change quickly from overwhelming to under control.
When our client chose to have in-home care for her father, she expected the choice would relieve her physical stress, but she was pleasantly surprised when her relationship with her father improved as well.
Improving Familial Relationships
Our client can now be her father’s daughter, as opposed to his sole caregiver. She enjoys quality time with him over lunch, as opposed to running errands, cleaning and doing laundry. Both of their lives are more manageable, and their relationship has been renewed. Now, we are the caregiver, and she is a daughter again. Sometimes, scheduling one of our caregivers to come in one day per week is enough to regain a sense of balance in life and in the relationship.
Adjusting to Your Needs
We adjust to you and your loved one’s needs. It is up to you whether we provide care for one or seven days a week. We also provide respite care for temporary relief. Later on, we can adjust as you or your parent needs us.
As parents and loved ones grow older and need more comprehensive care, it can be difficult for adult children and relatives to maintain their traditional roles. Family relationships are important and although their nature may change somewhat over the course of a lifetime, retaining their original essence is important for both your health and the health of your loved one.
How Relationships with Aging Parents Change
When we are young, our parents act as our caregivers, and guide us through life. As our parents age, we may become their caregivers, and it is important for us to honor the basis of these relationships, while making them adaptive, dynamic and above all, healthy. Sometimes, as these relationships change, caregiving children may begin to feel stressed, angry or saddened. Although some of these feelings may be unavoidable, it is possible to cope with them effectively. You can clearly define your role in your elderly loved one’s care through healthy expectations, the setting of healthy boundaries and communication.
How Extended Family Home Care Can Help
One of the greatest challenges adult children of the elderly face is the feeling that their loved one is suffering a loss of dignity, and having an adult child assist with functions of daily living can be stressful and embarrassing for all involved. Extended Family Home Care knows this, and is able to step-in and provide dignified care. Having this type of service allows you to fully enjoy your relationship with your loved one, as it was meant to be. You can also maintain an active and involved role in the care your loved one receives.
Martha’s mother fell and broke her hip last fall. The 92-year old woman, whose husband had died 18 years ago, could no longer live alone without increased caregiving support. Martha contacted Extended Family Home Care, in home care agency of metro Denver, CO to discuss in home care options. Her mother wanted to return home following her rehabilitation stay and Martha wanted very much to make this happen.
She looked so great and we enjoyed catching up with her. Extended Family Home Care has been providing in home caregiving services to her elderly mother for just over a year. I remember so vividly the day we first met. She was exhausted and stretched so thin. She was the primary caregiver for her mother, has 3 children of her own and a career. At the time she was going to her mother’s house before and after work to check in on her mom and was struggling to make enough time to be with her own children. She cooked her meals, did her shopping and assisted her with a bath and almost everything else. She also took time off from work to take her to her doctor’s appointments, to the beauty shop and made sure her mom was getting to where she needed to be. She was concerned as she was beginning to feel resentful and was getting behind at work.
The daughter was referred by a friend who used our in home services for her father and she couldn’t believe such a caregiving service exists. We met her lovely mother and she was excited to learn of us as well as she could see how tired her daughter was and it saddened her very much. We send a caregiver into her home to be with her twice a day to assist with the shopping, errands, meal planning & preparation, housekeeping, laundry & linens, bathing and transportation to appointments. They also enjoy short walks and day trips when she is up to it.
This mother and daughter continue to see each other frequently and rather than having to take care of business when the daughter is there, they enjoy tea and special conversation.
We understand the issues and stresses that are involved. When miles separate you or you simply don’t have enough time in the day, we can help.
“Mother and I never enjoy a get together for coffee,” Martha confesses. “Ever since dad died we have been all about business.” Her mother wanted Martha to continue to be her caregiver once she went home. Like many children thrust into the role of caring for elderly parents, Martha has struggled with boundaries. She has been stretched thin caring for her mom, feeling physically and emotionally exhausted every day.
Martha decided it was time to seek assistance from a home health care agency. Martha let her mother know she could no longer be her caregiver. Her mother had a difficult time understanding that she needed any help at home. “This change in our relationship remains monumental for both of us. I don’t know what I would have done without Rachel Webb who met us in the rehab facility to set up home care services once mom was discharged. She handled everything from start to finish and mom is now home and couldn’t be happier with the caregivers and support of the Extended Family Home Care management team.”
I believe it is difficult as we have all witnessed our parents make decisions their whole lives and then their decision making may become impaired with age and we end up making decisions for them. I believe the best thing to do is to make decisions that respect their desires.
We are there when you are unable to be.
Caregiving is not an easy job and respite is your earned right as a caregiver. Reward yourself with respite breaks often. There are many respite care resources available to you in Denver, Colorado. Extended Family Home Care, in home care agency, provides respite care to families caring for their loved one. We are a licensed in-home care agency and we advocate for and assist the elderly and disabled in leading dignified, independent lives within the familiarity of their own home. Below are some helpful tips for family caregivers:
- Keep an eye out for signs of depression and don’t delay getting professional help when you need it.
- Accept the offer when those around you offer to help and suggest specific things they can do to be of assistance.
- Caregivers often do a lot of pulling, lifting and pushing. It is important to be good to your back!
- Information is very empowering so do educate yourself about your loved one’s condition. This will allow you to better care for your loved one.
- There’s a big difference between caring and doing so help promote your loved one’s independence.
- Like with most things, trust your instincts as most of the time they’ll lead you in the right direction.
- Seek support from other caregivers, this helps to remind you that you are not alone.