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Caring for Dad has become more than I can handle. What should I do?

4 answers | Last updated: Apr 13, 2014
Roger T asked...

Caring.com User - Mary Koffend
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Mary Koffend is the president of Accountable Aging Care Management (AACM), an eldercare consulting and care management firm that works with elder clients...
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You are doing a wonderful job as a caregiver for your father. However, you are his son and this is the role that you perform best. Family caregivers wear out See also:
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See all 208 questions about Avoiding Caregiver Burnout
quickly because of the physical and emotional demands of the role. It is smart of you to reach out for expertise in how you can take care of your father.

What I would recommend is contacting a care manager who is trained to assess the situation and make recommendations to your parents for the best care situation for their needs and finances. A care manager is an expert in eldercare issues and local resources. There is a professional association whose members are trained and certified. Caring.com has information about geriatric care managers on their website so I would encourage you to look at the other answers about care management services as well as to review the association website www.caremanger.org. Both websites can help you locate a care manager near you and your parents and describe methods for finding the right person to work with you and your parents.

There is real value in involving a third party expert to help you plan for your father's care. Your parents will always see you as their son and discount some of what you tell them even if you are exactly correct. Particularly since your mother is experiencing some denial about the severity of the health issues and needs for care for your father, having a professional coach your mother and you could remove these issues. The cost of hiring a care manger to evaluate and to guide about the best care for your parents is easily recovered by having comprehensive choices and making the better decision first. Your parents are very blessed to have such a caring son.


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HJW answered...

I empathize with you Roger!My father, however, is in a nursing home and the frustration comes when we realize he could live at home with help...but we cannot afford it. Medicaid is currently paying but we are trying to get him home after 4 months. I live out of town and have the best job anyone could ask for. I have considered quitting to take care of him but my father will not want that.There are home care agencies but they want up to 20$ an hour! I commend you...but you need to take care of yourself! Find a respite in your area...call office of the aging in your county or city...they will give you information. My father has accepted the fact he needs a nursing home right now, whether it financial or necessity...as much as you may be against it...look into some in your area...we have the best in our city and they take very good care of him. Good Luck...BREATHE...!


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Hello Roger, Thanks for posting your caregiving question to our community. Thanks to Mary and HJW for your words of advice and support.

You can find Geriatric Care Managers and local Area Agencies on Aging near you in our Senior Care Directory: https://www.caring.com/local When the time is right, you may also rate and review care providers, area agencies, and geriatric care managers with which you have had first hand experience in our Senior Care Directory. We believe reviews are valuable resources for caregivers who are seeking senior care.

If you are approaching the feeling of caregiver burnout, you may find our Caregiver Burnout and Caregiver Wellness Resource Centers to have some helpful information as you care for yourself.

Best of luck on your caregiver journey. We're here for you!


CA-Claire answered...

Hi Roger T. Congratulations on your reaching out for advice. You are a wonderful son to try to work with your parents while their health is out of their control. Your Mother probably doesn't want to be separated from your Father - very common if they have been married 'forever'. You might be able to find an answer in Assisted Living. Nursing home or Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs) can be cold and clinical.

Assisted Living could house them both in the same apartment, with their own furniture (or at least some of their own furniture), and the facility caregivers would do what is currently wearing you out.

If Assisted Living in your area is too expensive, check out Board and Care homes in your area. A lot of the time, spouses may be there living with their loved one, and receiving care themselves.

Call both types of places, go visit them by yourself first, ask to have a meal there to see what the food tastes like to you. If the food is so-so - RUN. Food is very important to seniors, and if it's so-so to you, they will hate the place. A lot of times, you can eat a meal or two free as part of the marketing program. Talk with people in the community or Board and Care home - see if they like it. Watch how the caregivers interact with their residents - it's important.

Best wishes to you - get some assistance before you burn yourself out! If they insist they must stay in their own home, hire a caregiver to take care of the nighttime for you, so you can sleep.


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