The Porch Light copyright by Revka (2006-2010). All rights reserved.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Caring for the Elderly

I know that more and more people are coming to the place in their lives where their parents or elderly relatives are in need of assistance. However, it can be hard to fulfill regular responsibilities and take on an additional task that requires even more energy and resources.

Please don't misunderstand me. I don't like nursing homes and think that they should be used as a last resort. I believe that children have a responsibility to care for their aging parents if at all possible. However, that does not mean that you have to shoulder the additional responsibility alone.

When it is my turn to care for my parents, I plan on searching for caregiving information and locating as many caregiving resources as possible. Knowing what options are available and where I can find help in my task will be a great assistance as I do my best to care for my loved ones.

For example, my mother cares for my father (it's too involved for me to explain about that situation) and only recently found out that there are adult day cares and people who will come into your home to care your loved one so that you can get a much-needed break. There are even assisted living facilities that will accept short-term residents. Mom made use of one such home when she and my little sister flew to TX for five days in November.

If you are caring for elderly loved ones, you might wish to search for caregivers resources. Perhaps you can find ways to fulfill your responsibility while still taking a break when you need one.


Anonymous said...

Caring for the elderly can be a very demanding "job". My parents' health is failing fast, but they have "threatened" me so to speak if I dare put them in any kind of facility or get any outside help. There belief is that the children should care for the parents at home no matter the personal or financial cost. I have one sibling who does absolutely nothing so everything is left to me. My health is poor so that has left me in a bind. There are good resources out there. Unfortunately I can't use them.

Revka said...

My heart goes out to you, Anon. You are in a tough situation, and I think that more people than we realize are right there with you.

I'll be praying for you that you would be able to get some assistance and relief, whether from you unhelpful sibling or from outside sources.

God bless you.

Anonymous said...

You may want to take a look at a new website . Good information and informative site.

Carol D. O'Dell said...

I was that mom/daughters/friend/christian/wife when my mother began to need full-time care (Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, 89 years old). She had a fear of "those homes" and so I brought her into mine--and although it was crazy, chaotic, heart and gut wrenching, it was in the end, worth it. Our three daughters learned what it was like to really be a family--to face tough times, and to not have mom at their beck and call.

It wasn't always pretty either--but I gave hera home passing and wrote every day for the almost three years she lived with us. In retrospect, I would have asked for more help, been firmer--and kinder--at times, but I'd still do it again.

Not everyone can do this--time, finances, etc., but families should at least try to stay together--for as long as possible.

The Internet offers lots of resources for caregivers, and most communities are starting to get on board with services--and I hope this trend continues. Families need and deserve support. Education and preparation will certainly help--and so does alotta love.

~Carol D. O'Dell
Author of Mothering Mother: A Daughter's Humorous and Heartbreaking Memoir
available on Amazon and in most bookstores.

Revka said...

Thanks for the website URL, anonymous.

Revka said...

Thank you so much for sharing, Carol. It is encouraging to hear from someone who has actually 'been there' that it is worth the sacrifice.

God bless you!