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Every year, more than 43 million Americans provide unpaid care to a family member, usually a parent. Most seniors prefer to age at home, but as they get older and experience deteriorating health, they may need special care at home. In many cases, their children decide to step in and become the caregivers.  Serving as a caregiver to a member of the family is one of the most rewarding jobs you can do. It allows you to spend time with your loved one and gives the chance to ensure that they receive the best possible quality of care. If you are in this situation, here are 5 questions to consider before taking on this role.

Do you Know Your Capabilities?

Are you prepared to take care of your aging loved one by yourself? Well, if you are, that’s great. However, if you juggle their responsibility in tandem with a full-time job and your own family obligations, employing outside support to handle day-to-day tasks and expectations might be necessary.

Do you understand your parent’s medical conditions and needs?

Are you prepared to take care of your parent’s medical conditions as they age? Being a family caregiver means you are becoming their biggest advocate. It is important to consider their current conditions and future possible progressions. Understanding what to expect will help you make better decisions about your parent’s treatment, your level of involvement, and what you need to receive professional support. Caring for those with Alzheimer’s or dementia, for instance, maybe daunting to manage on your own.

Are you ready to make personal sacrifices?

Providing home care to a family member takes an exceptional amount of time and effort. You need to be dedicated to maintaining some balance in your life before you become a primary caregiver. If you spend years caring for someone else and avoiding your own personal needs, your ability as an attentive, organized, and compassionate caregiver will deteriorate. Plan time for respite care to help maintain your health and happiness while you are on a caring journey

Are you Ready for Role Reversal?

Are you ready to be a parent of your parent? As your parents get older, your role will change as you become a family caregiver. You might have to take over the financial affairs, take away driving privileges, make sure they are eating, bathing, or taking their medication. It is a kind of reversal of roles as you become your parent’s parent – trying to enforce what is best for them and doing so without anger or hurting any feelings.

Are you willing to accept help?

The toughest thing most caregivers face is to ask for support from others. Many caregivers feel bad as the day-to-day burden of caring for a parent can get very intense. Every caregiver needs to have a break. You must be ready to speak out and receive assistance from relatives or friends or employ a professional home care provider who can help assist you by allowing your loved one to be cared for in an in-home environment. 

If you are the caregiver for your aging parents, learn how Thrive USA can support you, and make a difference in your loved one’s care.

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