The Baby Boomer generation fit into the category of taking care of senior parents. Some of us are not old enough to retire. Some may still have minor children in school or adult children still in college. Some of us are still working and have grand children and now we have to take care of our aging parents. Our adult children are expecting us to also babysit the grand children. We are sandwiched in the middle of the population and have a triple responsibility upon us. What do we do how do we manage, how do we not loose our heath nor our minds? My siblings and I were blessed to have our father with us longer than our mother. Or dad lived to the age of 92 years old. My dad enjoyed excellent health throughout the majority of his life. Dad was never hospitalize the entire time he raised us children to adulthood. Once dad became old like most, he need additional care. Our first move for dad was to move him out of his private home into a retirement center or assisted living. He was too old to live alone, he could not maintain the house nor care for himself . Assisted living is not at all like a nursing home. For those of you that are looking where should your senior parent/s live this is an excellent option for them if they are still somewhat mobile and not nursing home material. Check out the assisted living facilities in your area if you are approaching making that decision for a loved one that needs additional care and looking after.
Several months ago while at a Heath Fair/Bazaar I had the opportunity to speak to one of the vendors at the Health Fair the Visiting Nurses Association. While he looked at my display of Healing Hematite Jewelry, (check our my jewelry on this stite on the following link http://www.allsharonsfavorites.com/shaysgems.htm )
The Nurse gave me this piece of advice: "Take time for yourself." I must have looked puzzled and I did not respond. I thought that seems selfish. I was so focused on what was needed to care for dad, I was not even thinking about myself. With the exception I let my family know on this particular day, I would not be available to care for dad. I had a booth at the Health Fair. (That was working not just free time.) The Nurse went on to ask: " Do you work a full time job?" I replied: Yes I did and where I worked. His reply was:’ " Yeah that is a stressful job". The Nurse went on to explain: Don't wear yourself out taking care of your dad. If you do not take time for your self and you become ill taking care of your dad, you will be no good for your family or your dad. Then you will need to be taken care of. He went on to give me information of how to get help so as not for us siblings to wear ourselves out taking care of dad: "Get as much professional help as you can get to care for your dad. As much as your/his finances will allow. Let your time with your dad be to visit with him." This was the best advice and I am passing this on to you so that you can take heed and do as we did in providing care for our dad. There are several Senior care associations, nursing assistance agencies that you can hire some form the agency to help care for your senior parents. Research the agencies. Ask them if they do police clearences on their employees. Also check the Better Business Bureau on the agencies to see if they have had any complaints against them. You can go to http://www.bbb.org and search the site for your state. Do your research before you hire anyone. Several states have online criminal check lists that you can do a search before you agree to have someone care for your loved one. We were blessed to have several grandchildren that are trained in the area of Certified Nurse Assiatant and available to care for dad during his last days. Our father's last request was that we did not put him in a nursing home. We honored his request. As ill as dad became we never placed him in a nursing home. Dad was able to get he 24 hour care in his own apartment we had hired additional help. Dad passed away with two of his adult grandchildren at his bedside.
Check out your parents medical insurance see what it will cover. To those of us that are still young enough and still employed check out long term care insurance policies to see if it is affordable. It appears that people are living longer in this day and age.
I'm adding this paragraph to pay tribute to my Dad. Dad lived 25 years after Mom died. Our mom died in 1984. When Mom became ill Dad retired from his job and took care of our mom full time. He was old enough to retire the job was do-able. He was going to work a little longer. Due to her illness Mom needed to have dialysis treatment. Dad dutifully attended classes and learned to actually hook mom up to her machine at home and performed her dialysis treatment at home. That was true love! When Mom took ill and saw how Dad cared for her she told him I did not know your loved me this much. Yes my Parents loved each other. The first time I ever saw my Dad cry was when my Mom died. My Dad was so heart broken to loose the mother of his kids, all be it we were all grown. My youngest brother was 19 when mom died. Watching how Dad cared for mom when she needed care us children and grandchildren gave Dad the came care when his time came.