COVID-19 has created an unprecedented disruption in our lives, forcing us to rearrange our daily routines and confront the fragility of life, not too dissimilar to the challenges faced by families caring for an aging parent. While many feel compelled to remain home to avoid exposure to the virus, other families recognize the uncertainty and social isolation that come from staying at home to care for a loved one. Those families with an aging family member, reliant on younger generations to provide care or assistance around the house, understand the stark reality of what it means to care for a loved one 24/7. Allow this pandemic to serve as a chance to be prepared to support your loved ones.
Much of the anxiety with COVID-19 comes from the confusion and unpredictability of what comes next. Caregivers are confronted with new responsibilities, new routines, and new expectations to provide emotional or medical care on a daily basis, all while attempting to maintain a degree of normalcy. Instead of rushing to buy more toilet paper, create a plan to address the concerns of caring for an aging parent to alleviate the anxiety that accompanies the uncertainty. Take account of what assistance your family member needs now and can reasonably be expected to need in the future to determine whether you have the requisite skills, time and resources to fulfill those needs. Seek educational resources to ensure that you are prepared to step into place as your loved one’s health declines over time. By no means is caregiving easy, don’t let uncertainty cause unnecessary stress.
Businesses have closed or moved to remote work, while individuals have been instructed to remain at home to avoid the transmission of COVID-19. Families with aging parents feel constrained by the obligations to care for a loved one. As their loved one becomes increasingly reliant on a family member, the caregiver’s social circle shrinks to only those necessary to get through the day. By using tools like Facebook Caregiver Groups, caregivers can connect with others to learn from those in similar situation and commiserate where necessary. However, the convenience of online social networks should not replace in-person socialization. Schedule time for other family members to assist in the care of a loved one to give your loved one someone new to spend time with and to give you a chance to doing anything else. Where family isn’t available, connect with other caregivers who are willing to care for your loved one in exchange for you doing the same so that both of you have time away. There are countless caregiver support groups that offer a space to connect with others and learn how to provide effective care. Please understand that connectivity to the outside world is not a luxury, but necessary to be an effective caregiver. You may be surprised who else in going through something similar.
Contact Mooney Law for questions about creating a plan to care for an aging parent. Due to the financial impact COVID-19 has had on our communities, Mooney Law has extended through the month of April FREE PHONE consultations. Call us today to schedule a FREE phone consultation at 717-200-HELP or 8733-MOONEYLAW.