Many families choose to provide the bulk of their aging parent’s care. It’s hard for one person to provide all of the necessary care. Often, families divide up a week. That’s your plan, but you’re not sure how to involve everyone. It’s easier than you might think.
Examine Strengths and Weaknesses
You love to cook. You’re good at cooking hearty meals that meet dietary needs. Your siblings hate to cook. You despise yard work. Your brother loves spending time outside. Look at everyone’s strengths and weaknesses when figuring out how everyone can best help.
You may have that one sibling who doesn’t enjoy most household tasks. For that person, think outside the box. If that sibling is good at budgeting, his or her help could be put to good use balancing your mom or dad’s checkbook or creating a budget-friendly shopping list.
You might not think of the younger grandchildren being much help. There’s plenty they could do. Put younger kids to work with easier household chores. Grandchildren could help sort dirty clothing by color. They could water plants. They could also work on a craft project with their grandparent.
Gather Regularly to Socialize
Many seniors say they don’t feel they get enough socialization. Every few weeks, plan a fun day where no one has to do anything. Bring a dish for a potluck meal. Spend the day watching movies, looking at old home videos, and simply talking. It eases stress and helps form a tighter family unit.
Don’t Overlook Schedules and Obligations
As tempting as it may be to try to take on a lot of the home care tasks, you have to balance it with your schedule and obligations. You work 40 hours a week. Your kids have extracurricular activities with their school. You have a home with chores that need doing each week.
You need to look at your own calendar and see where you have gaps. Be creative. If you’re at your child’s sports games for two hours on a Saturday, that’s a good place to start. Offer to pick up your mom or dad and bring them to the game. They’ll get out of the house. They can socialize. Plus, they get to see their grandchild in action.
Where there are gaps, look into home care services. You don’t have to hire a caregiver for every day of the week, but even an hour or two once a week can help.