Planning for Caregiver’s Role
Rahul was shattered when his mom suffered a paralytic attack. As the news sank in, the next issue at hand was how will he handle her situation. He and his wife both worked and were in a different city.
Dad was himself old and could not take care of the mother alone. So, there was no one at home to take care of the of a paralyzed person. And, keeping her in the hospital for prolonged period would have been a drain on finances he was sure his dad could not afford.
He did not even know if his mom and dad had saved enough to take care of her health, or whether they had any health insurance.
As the only son, he and his wife were the natural choice to take on the role of caregiver and they did so willingly. After initial shock they took matters in their hands, set up a support system for their mom, including a patient care staff to be by the patient’s side 24 hrs a day.
As their mother stabilized, they changed the live-in caregiver to a full-time caregiver and then to a part time one, to come in only for a few hours to bathe the patient, clean up her bed etc., and take her out for an hour. At other times they could divide the responsibilities between them. This way no one member felt pressurized, mother was well cared for and financially there was no strain on them.
But, they feel if they had been prepared things would have been smoother. Their advise is that we should all be prepared for the challenges ahead, especially in today’s age of nuclear families.
Challenges for Caregivers
A survey has found most children with old parents who needed care did not plan for it. Plans are only put in place after the need arises, at which time the environment is anyways stressful and not conducive for best options as time is at a premium then. Challenges that may arise are many.
You may have to adjust your schedules, at home as well as work, because of care-giving responsibilities. Often people working outside have to reduce their hours to take on care-giving responsibilities.
Sometimes, your own family may start getting neglected because of the care-giver work, especially when as a parent or spouse you have to spend a significant amount of home time for care-giving. Often children of aging parents may be concerned about the quality of care their parents will receive in a clinic or home.
The issue is aggravated if their parents are not financially secure and they have limited financial resources to help them. Then you cannot even afford a good clinic. One option is to hire caregiver at home. Financially this is quite effective. Elderly caregivers are now easily available for hire. You can hire them for a few days, for continued work, for full day, night shift or for live in work. In fact you can also call a caregiver for a few hours.
Call them at the time when there is need for more specialized care like bathing, changing diapers, feeding, changing bed-sheets, taking out for walk, or maybe to just give company when no one else is at home. You can hire through online portals also like Helper4U.in
If you have aging or unwell parents you should begin planning for the role of a caregiver early on. Here are some basic tips for planning. This is just a start and may need more elaborate work depending upon the situation.
Points to start work with:
-> Talk with your parents about their health, insurances, finances, and the money they have put aside for emergencies.
-> Talk to your siblings and other people in the family about what would be the best way to take care of the parents in future.
-> If parents do not have health insurance get it for them Also, this is the right time to start planning for your own retirement years and getting a health insurance. If our children are old enough talk to them about how you would want to be taken care of if care is needed. It is never too early to start planning for all this.