Too often we underestimate the time obligation of caregiving. Adult children step up to be the primary hands-on caregiver having no idea that they may spend as much time caring for their parents as they spent raising their children.
We tend to think that we can burn the candle at both ends – that we can do it all. We think we can manage kids, career, spouse, house, and parents. If caregiving were a sprint, we could probably do it all. Unfortunately, it’s not. Caregiving is a marathon that you could easily spend 15 years focused on the health and well-being of your parents.
Further, this race is no one-man show, but rather a relay race. Your team will consist of siblings, an attorney or two, doctors, financial advisors, clergy, neighbors, geriatric specialists and more. Ask them for help. Encourage them to notify you if they have concerns. Remember to have the HIPPA-compliant releases signed so you can access your parents’ medical records and speak freely to the professionals providing care. Work with your parents to obtain a Power of Attorney (POA) before you think you need one. Engaging the assistance of an attorney who specializes in eldercare will help assure you that you have covered all your parents’ needs and concerns.
Caregiving is certainly a marathon. If you prepare for the race, you will prevail.
This article was written by Barbara McVicker