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Going from child to caregiver

Friday, January 25, 2013

My parents are starting to fall apart. Their bodies are not working as well as they used to. They are no where near needing full on daily care, but there are things that they are starting to realize they need help with that they won't always be able to do for each other.

I'm still not needing to do much work for them, but it's starting to look like I'm going to need to do a few things for them to make their lives easier. Yesterday my mother decided that I need to get used to driving her car just in case I'm the only one that will be able to drive her home from certain appointments, and the way her eyes are going, she'll need to be driven home from her eye appointments.

They're starting to think about these things because the last of their parents passed away this last year and they're still dealing with the legal issues from it several months later because of assets that the government wants their share of first.

So this means I get to have more responsibility toward their well being. I knew it would happen eventually. I guess driving Mom's car is just the first step and I'm glad she knows her limits for driving, although I know she's not all the way at not being able to drive yet.

I've been starting to think that I should be doing more for them, like a weekly house cleaning because vacuuming is too hard on mom and dad is of the mindset that the woman needs to take care of the house, and perhaps a little of taking care of the yard to make things easier on mom.

I guess it's going to come down to sitting down with them and finding out what I need to do to make their lives easier, but I know that the day is coming sooner than anyone expects. They may only be in their mid-60's, but I can already see the need for a little help. I'm just hoping that major help won't be needed for at least 10 more years.
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  • HOLLYM48
    Good luck to you and your parents as you enter this new stage of life. It is not easy to have young children and to take care of parents that are getting older too but it is something we must do. Glad you have the capability to do this for them and live close enough to help out. emoticon
    1850 days ago
    They're very lucky to have a daughter so concerned with caring for them. I'm sure it's a lot to think about, and very over whelming, but it's awesome that you're prepared to take on challenges as they arise.

    Best of luck in figuring everything out!

    1851 days ago
    With people living longer we're seeing a lot of the old taking care of the very old. My Mom lived with us from age 75 until her death at 88 in 2011. DH's 92 year old mother lives with his sister. We're 65 and 68, rather old caregivers.
    You do what you can and try to take as good care of ourselves as possible so our children won't be in that situation.
    1851 days ago
  • FRAN0426
    The time to help our parents always seems to come up sooner than we would want, it means we have to accept that our parents aren't as healthy abd harder as we remember them. One of the reasons we are looking foe senior housing and selling our home is so that we can give up snow blowing and cutting the grass as I'm in my late 60's and hubby is soon to be 71. Have that talk with your parents to see what you can do to help them.
    1851 days ago
  • KAREN608
    When they let you know what you can help them with, not only will you be helping, but you will get some extra exercise doing the chores as well. You will need balance, since you can't be there all the time. We were blessed as my parents died suddenly and his lived well on their own with a little housekeeping into ages 83 and 90. So we didn't have a lot of long term care issues though we enjoyed helping where ever we could in what they needed. I don't have much hope for my future but that is in God's hands. My step children would not do thing one for me down the road. I am always happy when ladies have good children they can rely on later on.
    1851 days ago
    Hmm I was just considering this myself. My folks are in their late 50s and early 60s and have lots of health problems. Since I'm alone, I have no idea how I will manage their estate and everything. They've been struggling for the last 3 years trying to even get their taxes done! It's a problem that has me running a little scared lately.
    1851 days ago
  • LADYJ6942
    I hear you there. My mom is in her late 60's and going well on her own but there are some things she needs help with and she is getting better at learning her limits but isn't always good about it. A lot of it is a pride thing that they hang on to.

    Good luck
    1851 days ago
    Glad you are able to help your parents some. Too bad your dad won't help your mom. My dad will be 84 this week, has Alzheimers and has been helping mom for some time now and she is healthier than he is. Do you have other siblings close to them that can also pitch in? Even if they live far away sometimes they can come once a year or more to help out. I have a friend who travels across the country once or twice a year to give her sister a break with their mother. Would your husband be willing to come and help with the yardwork once in a while? You can build a network of family and sometimes friends that can help with taking them to doctor appointments or just spending time with them. This should not be a totally one woman job especially when you have young kids. emoticon I was the main caregiver for my MIL. She was active up until she died. Her vision had gone. I lived very close and I helped with the cooking, some cleaning, some yardwork, bills, transportation, and just keeping her company. Took alot of my time. The kids went to school a block from her so not too big of a deal being over there so much. It was rewarding and exhausting all at the same time. Some of her friends would help too. Take care of yourself too. emoticon
    1851 days ago
    I can relate to what you are saying. I took care of my mother when she got into her 80s. First just one day a week to do shopping and housework, and then more.
    I would suggest you sit down with them and see what they think about what they need. Then take them to a good lawyer and get their estate in order so you will not have to deal with that part of the mess so much.
    I am 73 and my husband is 63. We hope we have set our legal stuff in order so our kids will not have to do so much. We are still able to cope with our own house and yard work, but if needed, we will move into a smaller place and have less to take care of. Possibly hire a house cleaner and gardener for the heavy stuff.
    1851 days ago
  • BRENDA_G50
    I learned a lesson from when I volunteered for Hospice that care providers need to take time for themselves in order to be able to provide the care that is required to take care of the people they love. Please be sure you take the time out you need when needed and don't be afraid to ask for help.
    1851 days ago
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