When your parent moves in!!!!!
It is inevitable that more and more people will be faced with the situation of having to take some responsibility for an elderly parent at some time in their life.
Not only are we as a nation living longer, we are working longer as well. It is not unusual for people to be working up to 70 years of age, and this is likely to increase as time goes on.
The baby boomer generation, on the whole, are more aware of a healthy lifestyle, albeit for some may be the result of some health scare, we also have access to much more information on how to keep healthy too.
On top of that, many in this baby boomer generation have a disposable income. They have been working all their life and many have amassed money and they want to use it on themselves. Many do not intend leaving an inheritance to their children this is in sharp contrast to their parents who lived and work with the purpose of leaving an inheritance to their children.
So now you have finally made it. You have some time on your hands and the money to have some fun and enjoyment. Life is wonderful till you get that phone call.
Your parent has had a fall and broken their hip. And if that isn’t bad enough, they have not been able to be rehabilitated to go back home. What do you do? “Don’t worry Mum (or Dad), you can come and live with us until you are well enough to manage on your own. You will be back in your home before you know it.”
But the month becomes two or three or even longer and you are beginning to resentful towards your parent. What do you do?
You don’t want to hurt your parent’s feelings, after all they did a lot for you when you were growing up.
Nor do you want to kick them out but you feel the relationship is becoming very strained. Your husband or partner is becoming titchy as you now no longer have the freedom to do just what you want to do, when you want to. You have to consider your parent.
You may even accuse them on not wanting to get well and go home. This may be true. They have become socially isolated and now they have a cure for it. Your house. People around all the time; someone to talk to; something to look forward to every day. This beats the loneliness of their own company but they just can’t bring themselves to say this.
What do you do in situations like this and what are your options?
There are many services available for you in the community. If your parent really cannot go home and you can’t bring yourself to send them to a Rest Home, you can have care in your home. You don’t have to be the full time caregiver. You can get someone to come in and help with her daily cares. You can bring someone in to take her shopping. Not all of these services are fee, but they have their pension to pay for this. They may even qualify for funding from ACC. You have to be proactive to find out what is available and how you can get it. Don’t let having to pay for some of this care put you off accessing it. It is far superior to souring your relationship with your parent. And when you need a break, you are entitled to 28 days Carer Support from the Ministry of Health. This is not means tested but it pay $75 a day toward them having care in a care facility or $69.00 a day to have someone come in and live in the home with your parent so you can have a break. In my experience, there is reluctance for people to use this care. DON’T be a martyr. Take what is being offered and if that isn’t enough, then ask for more. It is sometimes increased or respite care may be added to it.
And when the going gets really tough and you can’t go on any longer, then residential care is the option. There are some very good places out there that will take good care of your parent and help you keep your relationship with them intact - that is what is important.
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