As the Sandwich Generation balances multi-generational caregiving needs, the struggles of a caregiver loom large. Today, more than ever, family caregivers understand the value of a well-developed and administered caregiving plan for their aging parents. Family caregivers realize that a proactive plan is vital to success in meeting the caregiving needs of Mom or Dad.
Home Instead Senior Care’s network has created The 50/50 Rule™. This program outlines key points that families can address and enact before a caregiving crisis erupts.
For instance, family caregivers are more successful in providing quality care for their loved one if they:
1. Talk and Listen: Most seniors value their independence and they may protect that independence by refusing to seek needed help. A family member can keep the doors to communication open by listening when their parents speak.
2. Research Options: By identifying the types of services and care options available, family members are aware of the choices. It’s best to research before a crisis and a few places to begin include www.eldercare.gov and www.caring.com.
3. Plan Ahead: If “age in place” is your mom’s choice, determine the tasks that will be performed by each sibling or various members of the family.
4. Be Flexible: An equal workload may not be practical for each family member. Take sibling skills, availability and work or family responsibilities into account.
5. Be Honest: If you serve as the primary caregiver, make certain your children or siblings know that you need help. Discuss specific tasks and determine who best can complete those duties.
Family caregiving can be a difficult job. Or, it can be a rewarding and fulfilling way to bond with parents and siblings, as well.
Do you have a unique approach to successful family communication strategies that you wish to share with our reader’s forum? If so, please post your comments below.