Do you find it difficult and stressful when it comes to taking care of your aging parents? If so you’re not alone. At some point most everyone is faced with the challenge of taking care of their aging parents. To help understand common challenges that most people face when taking care of their aging parents and advice when it comes to taking care of aging parents, I have interviewed therapist Marne Wine.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
“I am licensed professional counselor, specializing in family and couple counseling. I work with a variety of individual and couple’s issues, with an emphasis on sexual health. I also work closely with physicians and physical therapists in an integrative team approach to ensure the client receives the best care possible.”
What are common challenges that someone may face when taking care of their aging parents?
Some common challenges someone may face when taking care of their aging parents are: not knowing where to start, not knowing what resources are available, trying to do too much without tapping into available resources, not knowing when it’s time to move a parent to higher level of care, determining the appropriate level of care (in-home, in caregiver’s home, or residential care), managing medications, managing financial affairs, finding time and energy to get them to appointments, (doctor, haircuts, fingernail/toe care, etc.) and understanding when to allow parents to make decisions for themselves.”
What type of impact can taking care of aging parents have on someone?
It is rare the caregiver has the necessary medical background to make the best decisions for their parent regarding health issues, which can be a source of stress for the caregiver.
When the adult child turns into caregiver, the parent/child relationship suffers. Resentments can build. The caregiver often feels like it’s a no-win situation. Caregivers usually feel guilt and shame because no matter how much they do for their parent(s), it doesn’t feel like enough.”
How can a caregiver of aging parents take care of themselves?
“Learn about available resources for help and advice. Don’t try to do everything yourself. Learn to set boundaries by maintaining the best balance possible. Make personal time, relationship time (includes parent time), and time for your career. Find back up care, and use it, so you get breaks.”
What type of professional help is available for someone who is taking care of aging parents?
“One of the best resources is an organization called: Senior Resources. They are a national organization with local presence. You can find them by doing an internet search or by checking with your county social services. They can do assessments, advise on immediate needs, help determine a plan for the future, offer resources based on the parent’s financial resources, recommend businesses that have integrity and are senior’s friendly, etc. Another resource is Eldercare Locator, which is a public service of the U.S. Administration on Aging: 1-800-677-1116. Most state governments have aging and elderly divisions that offer resources. Some social workers, counselors, and medical clinicians specialize in geriatric or eldercare. You can find them through their professional associations such as Psychology Today.”
Thank you Marne for doing the interview on challenges and advice for taking care of aging parents. For more information on Marne Wine or her work you can check out her website on www.btid.com.
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