Increasingly, adult children of senior citizens are becoming the primary caregiver for their parent while trying to simultaneously care for their own children. While this situation can be extraordinarily stressful for caregivers, it can also take a toll on children of caregivers. Mom or Dad suddenly is splitting their time between two households to manage their caregiving duties, while kids also notice changes in the behavior or health of their grandparent. These trials leave many parents asking how they can help their children cope:
1. Get Kids Involved in Elder Care:
Watching a grandparent experience mental or physical changes can be frightening for kids of all ages; from toddlers to teens. However, letting kids feel involved may boost morale for seniors and youth alike. Bring your kids along with you on days when your senior loved one feels up to it and allow them to play a board game, or help cook dinner. Pack up school pictures or a favorite new movie and encourage your children and senior loved one to interact. This is valuable time that can relieve stress for both parties.
2. Make Family Time:
While providing care for a senior parent can seem like a 24 hour job, there is help available. Work with a reputable home care agency that utilizes a home care software or home care system to allow you some time off to spend at home. Take advantage of these breaks to spend quality time with your kids – at the park, having a BBQ or just relaxing together on the sofa! With the oversight provided by a robust home care software or home care system, like ClearCare, you’ll know things are handled while you’re focused on your family.
3. Provide Care in Your Own Home:
If your elderly parent is capable of leaving their home, bring them to your house every now and then for a special outing. This gives kids an opportunity to interact their grandparents in familiar surroundings, and gives you a chance to spend some time at home. Have your senior loved one over for Sunday brunch, and perhaps a special outing to the park or movies. You’ll know that your parent is being cared for, and your child will be participating in the elder care process in a natural way. Work with your home care provider to note in their home care software or home care system when these outings are occurring, so caregivers can ensure Grandma is ready to go!
By making interaction between your senior parent and child a routine part of elder care, you will be helping reduce the fear associated with seeing a grandparent require more help. At the same time, you’ll provide a mood boost for grandparents who get to see their younger loved ones! Take these steps, and hire a home care agency using a home care software or home care system, like ClearCare, for a little help and you’ll be on the path to striking a happy balance in your home.