You get a call in the middle of the night.
Dad says mom is having problems breathing and doesn’t know if he should call 911. By the time you get there, dad has tried to get mom to sit up in bed and he fell.
You’re the good kid; the one who lives closest. You spend your time with both of them in the hospital and later in rehab. You make sure they get home safe and sound.
Then one day you wake up and you are in the throes of doctor appointments, emergencies, night walking, bed wetting, more falls, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, dad is driving when he shouldn’t…and NO ONE is helping. All of this, seemingly overnight, came upon your shoulders.
But the truth is this did not become your responsibility in a day. It was a long-drawn-out process that you unwittingly took part in.
Please, at the first inkling of change you see in your parents – talk to your siblings and others who love them. Talk to their doctor. With your team, make a plan for the future. True, you don’t know what the future holds, but, you do know it will not be the same as it was. So, act on that knowledge.
Waiting will lead you down a road of heartbreak and stress.
Otherwise, how do you pull yourself out?
Many of our members have learned to start conversations early. This has been the saving grace to disaster. Even when a sibling has no opinion or doesn’t respond, it still means you tried. We find that those who do not offer to help WILL give their opinions about your senior care acumen and it’s not always positive.
They may even try to separate you from the rest of the family and the senior. Most heart-breaking are the partners who have been together for years and now the children from a previous marriage push the partner out as the end draws near.
When you don’t know how to get the information you need, do not be surprised when you find yourself hiring an attorney. This is PRINCIPAL #3 in the
ULTIMATE CAREGIVER’S GUIDE | Mastering Senior Care Techniques