Caregiving As An Only child

By Roz Jones

As an only child, you may have thought that you would never find yourself in the role of caregiver. But as your parents age, it’s important to be prepared for the possibility that you may need to step in and provide care. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you find yourself in the role of caregiver for an aging parent.

Be Prepared for Higher Expenses

As your parents age, they may need help with day-to-day tasks like cooking, cleaning, and bathing. They may also need assistance with medications and transportation. If you live in a different city than your parents, you may need to travel back and forth frequently to provide care. All of these factors can add up to higher expenses. So it’s important to be prepared financially if you find yourself in the role of caregiver. You may need to make some sacrifices in other areas of your life in order to accommodate the increased expenses. But it’s important to remember that your parents have sacrificed a lot for you over the years, and this is just one way you can show your love and appreciation for them.

Make Time for Yourself

Caregiving can be a full-time job, and it’s important to take some time for yourself amid all the chaos. Make sure to schedule some “me” time into your week so that you can de-stress and recharge. Whether it’s going for a walk, reading your favorite book, or taking a yoga class, taking some time for yourself will help you be a better caregiver in the long run. You might also want to consider joining a support group for caregivers so that you can connect with others who are going through similar experiences. 

Prepare for the Worst-Case Scenario 

No one likes to think about worst-case scenarios, but it’s important to be prepared nonetheless. If your parents don’t have a will or power of attorney in place, now is the time to help them get those documents in order. That way, if something happens and they’re unable to make decisions for themselves, you’ll be prepared. It’s also important to have a conversation with your parents about their wishes regarding end-of-life care so that you know what they want and don’t want in case they’re ever unable to communicate those wishes themselves. 

Providing care for an aging parent can be difficult, both emotionally and financially. But by being prepared and taking some time for yourself, you can make the transition smoother for both you and your loved ones.

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1. YOU ARE NOT ALONE: The problems you face as a caregiver are experienced by other caregivers. Knowing that you’re not alone can be comforting. 

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