For those with siblings, managing all facets of elderly care for an aging parent can be a daunting proposition; however, an only child faces an even more difficult challenge. As an only child, you might feel the overwhelming pressure of caring for your elderly loved one when there isn’t a family unit to help meet the demands of an aging parent together.
Most times, an only child’s wellness and health, plus social and work life, are significantly impacted by caring for an elderly parent on their own. The caregiver is prone to feeling overburdened and emotionally exhausted, and could even lose job possibilities or their social connections as a result. If you happen to be an only child who’s not able to depend on other relatives to take care of your aging parent, read this helpful guide on caring for seniors as an only child.
Employ Respite Care or Assisted Living Care
You can employ respite care to ease your burden and provide both you and your aging parents with peace of mind. Taking a break from caregiving duties helps restore your energy and equip you to care for your aging parents with refreshed focus and devotion. Flexible options and emergency care solutions are other advantages of respite care. For instance, if you suddenly become unwell, you can count on respite care till you’re able to resume your caregiving responsibilities.
Importantly, although a neighbor or volunteer might be eager to fill in for the time being, long-term care that’s more reliable should be arranged at a professional retirement community. Whether you need to get continuous monthly care or simply wish to take a weeks-long holiday, experienced assisted living teams and respite carers can help you take over all your caregiving responsibilities.
Make Use of Your Neighborhood’s Senior Programs
You should have access to several useful resources through your local Department of Aging initiatives to assist your caregiving effort. For example, if your elderly parents have limited incomes, you could leverage the Volunteer Money Management Demonstration initiatives which provide a wide range of financial services by trained volunteers. These include helping elderly folks to analyze and pay their utility bills, manage their monthly retirement benefits, and more.
If your elderly parents are aging in place, services like the Residential Repair and Modification initiatives can help modify their homes to facilitate better safety. These remodeling programs make activities like showering and walking down stairways safer for aging adults. For instance, their bathrooms will be outfitted with a shower seat and grip bars, railings get placed along the stairways, and wheelchair ramps are constructed for greater accessibility.
Build a Strong Support Network
Without relatives to lean on, some carers enlist the help of a devoted partner. Building a trustworthy support system outside of the family can also assist you in finding some work-life-care balance. You can get in touch with your parents’ buddies or neighbors to provide them with emotional support or carpool to the supermarket.
If your aging parent is a regular member of their religious groups, you can also seek help from these communities. Such faith-based social communities are known to offer beneficial activities combining physical and emotional enrichment. These communities have volunteers who cook for elderly folks, provide social interaction, and assist them in finding fresh optimism!