Do you find your aging father relying on you whenever problems arise? Are you currently caring for him as his health declines? Does it take more time than you have, require knowledge of the medical system and health insurance coverage that you do not have or entail tasks that make you feel uncomfortable?
Eventually you may realize that caring for your aging parent can be frustrating and lead to caregiver burn out. It can also lead to dissension with siblings particularly if several live far away and you are the local son or daughter who carries most of the load.
Where can you turn for help? Consider a Geriatric Care Manager. They are nursing consultants knowledgeable about resources, care options, care needs, and outcomes. They are experts in helping adult children who are confused and overwhelmed by the growing demands of caring for their aging parents.
Take the case of an 89-year-old man, who had been living alone for 10 years. His family called us after his third 911 call, two surgeries and four stays in a skilled nursing facility. We recommended the family move him into an assisted living facility where he could get cost effective care 24 hours a day. We toured several facilities with the family and found one that met his needs and fit his budget. Reluctantly, he agreed to move to this small assisted living facility.
He didn’t like the idea, but was scared by the thought of another hospitalization. Ten months later he is thriving in that environment, has stayed out of the hospital and is enjoying the socialization the community provides. This has enabled his adult children to return to their traditional role of son or daughter rather than caregiver.
Nancy L. Carey, RN
The Geriatric Care Consultants