Taking care of an elderly loved one, while noble, can be very challenging. Caregivers have to take on physical and emotional responsibilities in addition to setting aside some time to be caregivers. When you factor in that a caregiver also has their own life to live, you can start to see how complicated things can become. Even though you might be committed to providing the required care, things change, and you might find yourself in a situation where you are not able to do so. It is important to be realistic when you realize you are getting to that point. What can you do when you get to this point and feel you are not the right fit anymore?
Assess Your Loved One’s Needs
Your loved one has a set of needs, and your caregiver role is meant to provide the support and help they need. Assessing and understanding your loved one’s needs is one of the best ways to know the best ways forward. This is because your decision and approach will depend on these needs.
Start by assessing what you do and the type of support you provide to your loved one. When you write everything down, you will be in a much better position to recognize the areas where your loved one will benefit the most from getting better care.
This list is also important for briefing future caregivers, and it will help you know that these caregivers understand what your loved one needs so they can assist them with it.
Another key consideration is whether the loved one has a long-term illness or condition that you might not be equipped to take care of. Sometimes it is important to understand and accept that no matter how much love and support you provide, your loved one might still need the help of medical professionals.
Talk to Your Family
The next thing you need to do is prepare to talk to your family. The decision to find other arrangements for your loved one will affect everyone in the family, and so they need to be informed as and when things are changing. Start by reframing your decisions so that instead of thinking you are choosing yourself over your loved one, you understand that you are making available the care and support they need differently.
Next, consider how others will be affected. You will need to be prepared for some history to come up and for other family members to want you to continue as the primary caregiver. In such instances, you need to make them understand why you are making this decision.
Talk to your family with care and compassion. Inclusive language will help things go a lot smoother as will not using forceful language, especially when you try to distance yourself from the effects of your decision. You might need to have a few talks with everyone else before everyone sees things from your point of view so be prepared for that.
Consider Home Care Services
Once you have assessed your loved one’s needs and talked to your family, you may find that your loved one does not need to relocate to an elder care facility. At least not at the time. If this is your conclusion, consider home care services.
Home care professionals can provide your loved one with the care and support they need while allowing them to maintain their independence while they age in place. These professionals provide a wide range of services depending on what your loved one needs, so you might need to talk to a few of them before deciding on one.
Look into Elder Care Facilities
If, on the other hand, you decide your parents require round-the-clock care and support, you should look into elder care facilities. There are different types of facilities like these, but the most common ones are assisted living facilities, memory care facilities, and independent living facilities.
All of them provide varying levels of care and different types of services depending on your loved one’s needs. For example, an assisted living facility might provide independent living options for elders, but also provide memory care for those diagnosed with various cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s.
If your loved one has been diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s, they would benefit greatly from the services of memory care facilities Wichita KS. These are long-term care facilities with healthcare professionals and staff trained to help loved ones cope and live with cognitive disorders.
Do not forget to check that your chosen facility has strong social programs and a sense of community. Loneliness and isolation are serious concerns among elders with cognitive disorders, and socialization helps with both.
If your loved one requires specialized care, you should also consider skilled nursing facilities.
Talk to a Professional About Dealing with Guilt
Many caregivers who have transitioned from being the primary caregivers for their elderly loved ones often feel guilty for making that decision. This may be because they feel like they are abandoning a loved one or putting them in a challenging position and situation by leaving. There is also often judgment from other family members who might think you are selfish for not wanting to continue caring for your loved one.
It is a good idea to talk to a professional so they can help you through these feelings. They will help you realize that you are leaving your parents in the hands of someone more capable and available than you. They will also help you realize that you have your own life to live and teach you how to deal with the feelings of choosing your life over providing care for someone who needs you.
If you cannot talk to a professional, there are a lot of organizations and groups that help caregivers transition, especially when their loved one moves to assisted living or other elder care facilities.It can be difficult to come to terms with the fact that you no longer have the capacity to provide care for a loved one. If you feel like this, you might not be able to provide the care and support they need. It would be best to find an alternative that works for everyone.