On any given day in America, hundreds of thousands of seniors are being helped with the activities of daily living by paid outside caregivers. In many cases, a family member acts for the senior, leads the caregiver selection process, monitors the care being received by Mom or Dad, and may be the financially responsible person receiving and reviewing invoices, and paying the bill. Who should that family member be?
We have assisted many families with these issues. Here is some guidance for you:
Most Times there is a Family Member who is the Logical Choice
The eldest daughter often takes the lead. It can also be the daughter (or son) who lives closest – because they are able to stop by the most. It may be a sibling who lives out of town, if he or she is an only child, or the only child able to serve in this role.
Every Committee Needs a Chair Person
We recommend that even if the family is divided on whether Mom or Dad needs care, or how frequently it should be given, or who to use as the provider, that one person be designated to make final decisions. Every group needs a leader, and this one is no different. Failure to act can be the worst course of action.
Don’t Let the Process Become More of a Source of Family Friction
This a time for family unity. Don’t add this argument to the fires that may be burning on other issues within the family. Call a truce. Remember the factors that have brought this situation to a head only become more acute with the passage of time.
Don’t Let Mom or Dad’s Reluctance be the Determining Factor
Sometimes when the family cannot agree, they attribute their failure to act to Mom or Dad, who is protesting that they do not need any help at all. When you know this is simply not true, you’re not being fair to Mom or Dad if you fail to provide the assistance they need because of their own inability to see things clearly.
Try it, You May Like it
People often make the mistake of thinking they are making an irrevocable decision. Not true. You can try it and see how it goes. Mom or Dad may love the first caregiver you select, or they may not. Either way, you can stop the service at any time. This really is a decision where you can stick your big toe in the water and see how it feels – and make any changes necessary.
Someone in the family should take the lead. If the choice is not obvious, do the best you can. The situation calls for action, not inaction. Avoid increasing friction within the family. If things go well, you may find that the family member who steps up will do just fine, Mom or Dad will have a great caregiver and the family will finally breathe a sigh of relief.
If you or a loved one need an in-home caregiving ‘Angel’ in the 27 Metro Atlanta counties give us a call (770) 579-5000 or use the form on our contact page.