Millions of Americans are juggling working and raising a family with taking care of an older relative.
If you’re facing this situation, it can be hard to figure out the best use of your time and energy for caregiving, while also meeting other home and family obligations.
Here’s an approach suggested by the Family Caregiver Alliance to help you prioritize and delegate responsibilities.
Start by making a list of everything you do as a caregiver, big and small. Note the amount of time each one takes every day, week or month. Identify the times when you need help the most and which tasks others might be able to do for you, like making lunch for your mother when you’re at work.
List of the types of care needed, such as simple companionship or doing active chores, like food shopping. Write down where the care might be provided, such as at home or at a senior center.
Now find out how to get the assistance you need. If you have siblings or other loved ones close by, schedule a family meeting, in person or by phone, to discuss specific tasks. See if friends, neighbors or faith group members can provide help. If you can afford it, hire someone to help with cleaning or other routine chores.
Investigate resources in your parents’ town. Their community may offer services like Meals on Wheels, which delivers food to seniors in need.
Family care, community and senior organizations, such as the Area Agency on Aging, and even the wellness arm of the local hospital might be able to provide you with information on helpful public programs.
The Family Caregiver Alliance is a great resource for adult children who provide care to aging parents and need advice on juggling this responsibility.