by Joy Loverde
I work full time. How am I supposed to take on family caregiving responsibilities and keep my job, too? Where will the money come from to pay for in-home care? I’m an only child and I can’t possibly do this alone. I live miles away from my aging parents so who can I turn to for help? Why do I feel guilty so much of the time? How do I know if I’m doing the right thing? Most of us are inadequately prepared to face and accept the complex challenges associated with caring for aging parents and other elderly loved ones.
There’s nothing new about the aging process. People in our families are getting older, and so are we. Aging is real, and as long as we start making plans to sustain a quality of life as we age, the better off we’ll be.
Planning, however, takes on a whole new meaning when it comes to caring for aging parents and other family members. Historical family decision-making patterns will no longer apply; the question of “Who’s in charge?” is up for grabs. What was once written in stone regarding family rules and roles will no longer apply. What we can plan on when care issues crop up is the never-ending challenge of responding to changes of all kinds. When it comes to eldercare, family life as we once knew it will never be the same.
My book, The Complete Eldercare Planner (Random House, 2009, Revised and Updated) is your roadmap through this unfamiliar and often unsettling territory and is an invaluable tool as you begin to create your customized family caregiving strategies.
Start the process of eldercare planning by downloading the following documents from Chapter One in The Complete Eldercare Planner
- Emergency Information Chart
- Decision-making Worksheet
- Eldercare Goals Chart
- Effective Planning Action Checklist