Caregiver For Elderly Parents
Caregiver, you think to yourself, when and how did I become the caregiver for my elderly parents. It is a term you have heard for years, but you never thought it would be associated with you.
Your parents are doing great, they travel, go out to dinner, still drive everywhere. You think I won't have to be a caregiver for a long time.
Unfortunately aging creeps up on people quicker then you may think. One minute they are mom and dad doing well, and out of no where they become aging parents who need your help for everything.
Becoming a caregiver to your elderly parents is never planned. I know all the books tell you that you should be prepared for when your parents will start needing your help. But reading about something and actually living it are two totally different things.
When your parents need your help for some minor things, and being a caregiver for your aging parents are completely different situations.
It seems to start out with just some small little chores you find yourself doing. While your visiting your parents you may notice little changes around the house. It may seem their home it a little untidier then what you remember. The refrigerator seems a little more baron then is usual.
So when you visit again, you find yourself cleaning their house for them. At first just some basics. Dusting, vacuuming, maybe washing some floor. It all seems innocent enough. You do not even realize you are doing more and more at each visit.
Soon you are visiting your aging parents more and more, and with each visit you seem to be taking on more responsibility. You spend less time just visiting with them and more time taking care of them.
You begin doing the grocery shopping, making more and more of their appointment for them. Taking them places they need to be.
One day while I was at my parents home, the mail came when I looked at it I realized all of the bills were overdue. They just forgot to pay them. That was the big eye opener.
Now I had responsibility for their finances as well as their day-to-day living. That is when I knew I was a caregiver for aging parents.
It all started so gradually, at least I thought so. A little house cleaning and grocery shopping I thought at the time was no big deal. When you are in the situation you just dont see it coming on. Now when I look back at it I wonder, how could I have not been more prepared for being the caregiver for mom and dad.
It seems like one Christmas, both my parents did all their normal activities. They did their shopping, and they decorated their home for the holidays. When we all came over on Christmas eve, everything was ready. The gifts were wrapped the food was done the house was decorated.
One year later, my mother wasnt driving any longer, so I did all the shopping. Then I had to decorated the house and get the food ready. With in a year I became a full time caregiver to my aging parents.
The funny thing is everyone around noticed how much help my parents required, but I never saw it. When you become a caregiver to your parents, I dont think while you are doing it you realize how much you are responsible for.
If I could give everyone who is now taking care of aging parents, one piece of advice it is please do not try and do everything yourself. Get as much help as you can. Hopefully you will have family who can help you. But if you do not have family who will help, you have to find outside help.
To all the daughters out there, you more then anyone will have to shoulder all most all the responsibility when it come to taking care of yourelderly parents"> I have no answer why that is.