For most middle-aged adults, you’re in the prime of your life with your career intact, the marriage you dreamed of, and the family you always wanted. But what do you when your parents are aging and your marriage is still fresh with children ranging from newborn to toddler (and beyond)?
My parents are still able to care for themselves and work everyday, but I can’t help but consider the burnout many families encounter on a daily basis caring for their newborn and an aging parent. How do you decide if a nursing home is the right choice? Hiring a nanny may help, but then there is the mom guilt that comes with missing out on those first moments. You maybe able to juggle both … until someone starts to feel neglected (the husband, child, or your parent … maybe even a combination of all these choices).
Perhaps it’s the best decision to place your elderly and aging parent into a nursing home. Or temporary bring on additional help until you determine the best course of action moving forward. Here are a few things to consider when making a choice:
1. Include your husband and other family into the decision making process.
It is important to consider the feelings of other family members, especially your partner, when making a life altering decision regarding the family dynamics.
2. If choosing a nursing home for temporary placement, identify what is important to you/your parent.
Is a special diet needed? Is it important they attend church and bible study during their stay? How often should they receive physical therapy? What is the nurse to patient ratio? Generate a schedule with the family on who is going to visit at what date and time. Do not allow the family member to feel abandoned or as a burden.
3. If choosing a temporary live in nanny/relative; discuss the importance of following a schedule or routine for your child.
Seek someone who has experience in this setting to reduce frustration. Establish roles and responsibility for the family member and state up front if they will be paid and how much or what services are being exchanged for their services.
4. If your aging parent has Medicaid and/or Medicare…
Call the customer service line to request a social worker or a care coordinator to help identify resources and options to help.
5. Understand it is OK to ask for help.
You can get through this period in your life through balancing and budgeting your time so that no one is neglected, your marriage does not suffer, and your personal health does not take a hit.