My Parents by Eileen Adler
Is this the script running through your head: they’re MY parents, so I’m responsible because they raised me, so I owe it to them to take care of them in their diminishing years? We’ve thought this or even heard this, but this thought may leave us financially depleted. The need for more care begins when the care receiver can no longer handle medications or meal preparation on their own.
I know newly pregnant parents who are signing up for preschool several years before their child will be age-eligible to attend. Initially, I thought this idea was nuts, but in this fast-passed competitive milieu, before the need arises is the time to begin planning.
As soon as the evidence is clear that increased care will be necessary in-the-not-so-distant future, it’s time to evaluate the finances. Meandering this journey peppered with land mines might be eased with the help and advice from an elder-care attorney. Help can be found through geriatric care managers and non-profit organizations like the Alzheimer’s Association which identifies four areas to address: legal, financial, building a care team, and end-of-life planning. You are not alone in your journey.
The more you know, the better you will grow gracefully through the caring journey.
Self-care Ritual: Through the journey, do not lose sight of your own needs. There is a balance, find it and nurture it. There are many organizations supporting care partners, so you may want to consider reaching out to them.