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A Family Caregiver’s Guide to Setting Expectations With Parents

Annoyed Senior Woman Outside
Transitioning into a caregiving role can change the relationship between adult children and their aging parents.

In an ideal world, we could neatly compartmentalize our caregiving duties, sticking to a routine that met the needs of a senior loved one, while allowing the time required to manage our myriad of other responsibilities. But of course, life doesn’t follow our desired script, and conflicting needs are common when caring for an aging parent. Many older adults balk at the need for help, while others may come to rely too heavily on an adult child, leading to unmet expectations and resulting in frustration for both parties.

The aging care experts at Relevar Home Care offer the following tips to help clarify expectations of the relationship and communicate effectively:

  • Focus on empathy. Rather than pulling away from an older loved one whose demands seem unreasonable, pause and empathize. Think through the difficulties your parent is facing, and how it would feel to be in his or her shoes. Then communicate your sincere concern and desire to help.
  • Allow each other to be heard. Initiate a dialogue with your loved one, inviting him or her to express how it feels to be in need of care, and what kind of care is needed. Establish what the senior’s expectations are, and then share your own expectations as well as limitations in being able to fully meet his or her needs.
  • Compromise to come to a solution. Reaching a resolution that works for both of you may be easier than you think. For instance, if the senior expects help with transportation according to a particular schedule several times a week, perhaps you can provide that assistance one day, while enlisting the help of others to cover additional days. This allows for enhanced socialization for the senior as well as the healthy life balance you need.

Relevar Home Care is here to support family caregivers with highly skilled, carefully matched care professionals who are passionate about making life the very best it can be for older adults. Working together with Relevar Home Care enables adult children to ensure their aging parents are well cared for at all times. A customized care plan could involve filling in with respite care where needed, around-the-clock care, or any number of solutions in between. Just some of the many ways we can help include:

  • Safe, accompanied transportation
  • Running errands
  • Planning and preparing nutritious meals
  • Housekeeping
  • Offering friendly companionship and socialization
  • Creative and highly specialized care for those with dementia
  • And more to meet individual needs

Call us at (888) 493-3513 to share the challenges you’re facing, and to let us customize a plan to meet your needs. Our highly trained care professionals are available to provide a free assessment. Contact us to explore solutions for senior home care in Birmingham, MI and the surrounding areas.