During the last few years of her father’s life, Toni Bowers took on the role of his caregiver. Her dad was fairly self-sufficient but he was unable to drive himself and could be unsteady on his feet.
“As he started to decline, our interactions became more about making sure things were taken care of– getting his medicine lined out for the week, grocery shopping, keeping track of his doctors’ appointments and driving him back and forth to those appointments. I would leave work at my lunch hour to take him a hot meal. Somewhere along the line, it seemed our interactions became all about checklists,” she said.
It wasn’t until after her father passed that Bowers realized she missed something in those precious last months with her father.
“I wish I’d gotten help with the caregiving so he and I could have spent more of our time together just being a father and daughter, talking about his childhood and his time in World War II,” Bowers said.
Caring for aging parents can be stressful. As aging parents lose their mobility and maybe even a steady grasp on their day-to-day lives, the adult caregiver can start to feel helpless, hopeless, and lose empathy. This is something the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) has called “compassion fatigue.”
A 2017 survey showed that a daughter caregiver’s work life is also greatly affected. Fifty percent of those polled said they felt like they had to choose between being a good employee and being a good daughter. Thirteen percent say they’ve been passed over for a promotion due to their caregiving responsibilities.
Change of relationship
In the process of being a caretaker, a parent and adult child can lose the benefit of just enjoying each other’s company. Everything gets hectic and the main goal is just keeping a parent safe and well.
“I’m sure my dad grieved the loss of just being my dad as well,” Bowers said.
What if you could find someone who could ensure your parent’s safety and day-to-day care, allowing you and your parent to just enjoy each other’s company?
Family Directed Home Care can connect you with affordable and experienced in-home caregivers. It costs nothing to review local caregiver profiles. Just tell us your care needs and budget.
And because we know that you still want to have some control over the care, we provide a mobile app for making managing that care easier.