Caring For Aging Parents Without Guilt


by Gary Skole

Seniors who are able to age in place at home positively impact their general outlook and mental health. Being able to maintain their freedom and independence is a major factor for this. When asked, the vast majority of seniors would prefer to stay in their own home and live independently for as long as possible.

As living completely independent becomes more difficult, many children of seniors begin assisting by providing home health care to their aging parents. While this initially is a workable arrangement, there are limits to what family can provide ongoing. Baby Boomers' lives are so hectic that they eventually run out of hours in the day to juggle work, their own children, and now their parents' growing needs. What usually gets neglected are their own needs and health. As the children of seniors find themselves spread too thin, they tend to feel guilty that they aren't able to provide everything their aging parents need. Finding the right kind of assistance for aging parents doesn't need to leave you feeling guilty.

The idea of placing an aging parent in a nursing home, while sometimes necessary, tends to seem so "final" which only makes you feel guiltier. Assisted Living facilities offer the aging senior a safe place to reside while also offering assistance with personal care, access to medical care, prepared meals in a dining room setting, and a variety of social activities for residents to stay engaged throughout the day. But many seniors resist the idea of having to give up the home they have lived in for 40-50 years or more.

Home Care has become a popular option for many children when they can't provide all the care their parents need and they want to allow their aging parents the opportunity to remain in their own home. Home care workers generally provide personal care with activities of daily living (ADL) such as bathing, dressing, grooming, and toileting. But this option alone doesn't provide that socialization component that an assisted living facility offers to help seniors thrive versus merely existing.

Sometimes finding respite care a day or two per week is all you need. A respite caregiver is someone who comes in to assist a family, thereby allowing the primary caregiver(s) a break from the daily routine and stress. If you need more than respite care, but less than a nursing home, and you don't want to force your parents to move out the their home, home care that provides a component that focuses on enrichment activities may be the answer. Finally, a way to provide care for aging parents without the guilt.

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Gary Skole is the owner of Assisted Living At Home Care, a new hybrid service that brings the benefits of assisted living in to the home to create a preferred way for seniors to age in place. For more information visit or call (856)273-6440.

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