Adult Children Caring for Aging Parents Face Role Reversal
Courtesy Visiting Angels, Akron LIVING WELL Magazine
This catch phrase says it all. Adult children who are caring for their parents while also raising their own family are known as “the sandwich generation.” These family caregivers find themselves pulled in many directions, caring for a parent, raising their children, and often holding down a job as well.
On top of all of this, adult caregivers are thrust into the awkward and often unwanted position of feeling like they are parenting their own parents. It can be unsettling to find yourself in this role. This reversal in the parenting role can give rise to stress for both parents and caregivers.
A recent survey by the National Alliance for Care Giving and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) found that an estimated 22.4 million U.S. households, nearly one in four are providing care to someone age 50 or older or have provided care within the last 12 months.
As these family caregivers have discovered, it takes a lot of time, energy and patience to care for an aging loved one, and often it can seem like all of these attributes are in short supply. It’s not surprising, then, that guilt coupled with resentment are prevalent emotions among family caregivers.
A caregiver’s life can be turned upside down. Despite the fact that they love their parents, caring for a parent is a big responsibility that affects the whole family. Plans for the immediate future go out the window. Schedules that were already jam packed and complicated need to be reworked. Children may resent the new demands for their parents’ time and attention.
With these added stressors, experts emphasize the importance of caretakers looking after their own physical and emotional health. The old adage is true: “You can’t take care of someone else without taking care of yourself first.” This involves getting help from others, whether it is from siblings, a support group, or a home care service.
The staff at Visiting Angels understands this need. The company provides non-medical caregivers who go into clients’ homes to offer companionship, do light housekeeping, run errands, prepare meals, go shopping, and monitor safety, all services that can provide respite for the families dealing with the care of a loved one.
Contact our office to request a free in-home assessment or medication management program by one of our RN’s. Jodi Wood, RN, BSN is the owner of Visiting Angels in Tallmadge. Call 330-733-1532.