This blog is part of a year-long series aimed at addressing some of the most frequently asked questions we hear from family and adult children on the topics most concerning them regarding their aging parents or loved one. In 2012 Hebrew SeniorLife published the eBook "You & Your Aging Parent: A Family Approach to Lifelong Health, Wellness & Care," a compilation of answers from HSL geriatric experts in response to the many of the most frequently asked questions. We're reposting some of the most popular Q&A posts from our original eBook which was downloaded over 2,000 times. We're also adding new Q&As throughout the series that address topics not originally included in our eBook. Sign up to receive the blog series and download our original eBook at www.hslindependentliving.org.
How can I deal with the challenges of family caregiving?
The challenges of family caregiving are very strenuous and difficult to balance with the demands of your own family, career and life. These challenges can best be met by having family conversations early on and seeking professional help to augment the family’s capabilities and negotiate a sometimes difficult, fragmented system of support services.
Good family caregiving “takes a village” so it’s important to allow family members who want to help to play a role as well as identifying the additional support you need from a professional network. Local support groups are an excellent way to connect with other caregivers who are facing similar challenges.
There is a special burden that comes with being an only child of aging parents. On the one hand, it may be a relief to be the only one in control without any conflicting opinions from siblings. On the other hand, it can be stressful and isolating to handle the challenges of parent care alone. For adult children without siblings, it is especially important to find additional professional support to share the burdens and challenges of caregiving.
To download your copy of our “You and Your Aging Parent” ebook, visit our website, www.agingredefined.org.