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Letting Go of the Guilt

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It's OK to ask for help caring for your loved one

As a caregiver, its easy feel spread too thin and overwhelmed. After all, our already busy lives with jobs and kids don’t slow down when care for an aging parent becomes part of the picture. You want to be sure you're meeting everyone's needs — including your own. If you find sleepless nights, not sitting down to a decent meal and running around with an endless to-do list becoming the norm instead of the exception, it's time to ask for help — and ditch the guilt.

Just because the aging parent is yours, doesn't mean you have to go it alone. You deserve help. Let go of the worry that your loved one won’t get the same quality of care you’re providing. The healthiest thing to do is show yourself some care — it demonstrates that you value your own health as much as for the health of your aging parent, and will make you more patient.

Depending on your parent’s needs, in-home assistance can be a great option. There are caregivers who can come to your parent’s home and help with tasks like paying bills, light housework or shuttling them to appointments, and there are medical caregivers who can assist with minor medical treatments. But for many seniors, a visiting caregiver just doesn’t offer the level of support they need. And while it might be a tough decision, helping your loved one choose a senior living community may be the best way for you to avoid caregiver burnout. And ensuring your parent has the best care possible is the point, right?

Today’s senior living is nothing like the nursing homes of years past. There are communities for seniors that offer the type of hospitality (and care) you’d find at a high-end hotel, that have the comforts and feel of home, excellent dining options, state-of-the-art fitness and physical therapy and activity programs for socializing. The burden of care will be lifted off your shoulders, letting you live your own life again, while allowing you to just relax and enjoy the precious time you have with your parent.