Should Mom Move In? Things to Consider Before Becoming a Family Caregiver
Not all elderly parents want to live in their children’s home. There are those who prefer their independence and to live with people of their own age, but there are others who would fare much better staying with their own family. My grandmother staunchly preferred living alone. She lived alone until she was in her 80s and no longer able to care for herself after a fall caused her a hip injury that she could not recover from. After that, she preferred to live in a nursing home rather than stay with my parents who lived nearby.
Statistically, women live longer than men and retirement homes have far more women in them than men. With this is mind, the question is, “Should mom move in with one of her children?”
Are you Ready to Face a Host of New Responsibilities?
As a family caregiver, you’ll be faced with many new responsibilities. You will sometimes feel overwhelmed and even intimidated by the huge responsibility, but despite this it can be rewarding as you will be offering love, support, loyalty and help to your mom.
Many children shun the idea of their frail mom moving in because they feel they don’t have the patience or the nursing expertise to do the job properly. Even if you are the primary family caregiver, there are times when you will need help from other family members or even a home health professional. The reason for this is that if you refuse help and burn out, you will be jeopardizing your chances to care for your mom yourself.
Are you Mentally and Physically Fit?
Are you physically able to care for your mom? Injuries such as pulling a muscle or painful, overused muscles are a reality. Check with your doctor first about whether you are fit and well enough for the task ahead. Are you emotionally strong? Seeing your beloved mom suffering might well bring on a bout of depression and anxiety. Are you able to cope with a rollercoaster ride of emotions day by day?
Think about your finances too, and whether your mom will be able to have her needs met. It can be useful having a chat with a financial planner to simply explore your options. Discuss your needs with other family members too and maybe you can spread the costs of caring for your mom among all of you.
There IS support for taking on the Task of Caregiver
Make a list all of the care-giving tasks you might do and ascertain which activities you can meet and which will require additional help. It is a fact that families are the major provider of long-term care in America.
The National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP) was established to provide grants to states to fund family caregivers. If you feel you qualify, the program can help relieve your financial hardships if you are a caregiver for someone 60 or older.
Other services they generally offer include:
- Information to caregivers about available services
- Respite care so that caregivers can be temporarily relieved from their caregiving
- Assistance in gaining access to services as well as counseling and support group
There are always organizations available in your local community who want to offer you support for taking care of your aging parents:
- Children of Aging Parents (CAPS)
- National Alliance for Caregiving
- Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA)
- Friends’ Health Connection
Let’s face it… caregiving will stretch your patience and your budget. Once you have considered what it entails to become a family caregiver and have decided to go ahead with it, the twinkle in your mom’s eyes as they focus on your face will be all the assurance you need that you have made the right decision to care for her and become her primary caregiver.