How long do you think you can really do this, without falling apart? Caring for a parent is honourable but not everyone is able to manage, or to do so on their own. Having siblings does not always mean there is a huge support system; it is quite often the opposite. I have observed that it generally ends up being one sibling taking on the full responsibility head on.
However, there also comes a time when we need to be honest, and I mean be really honest, with ourselves and our family about the fact that we can no longer perform the role of Caregiver.
It’s not what you say, but how you say it.
You can list what you do - I have been doing the caregiving by... (Be sure to provide the full day-to-day care that you provide). Continue by saying - “But my observation is that mom needs more professional care and assistance, so I have done some homework and I think that we should have a Professional Caregiver come in from Monday to Friday from 7am to 7pm or three days per week from 9am to 5pm. I will be here to supervise, so it’s not like I am leaving mom with a stranger. I can still handle the night aspect and weekends.” This is critical. Ensure that you have really thought it through and that the changes you are making will be for the time you need to Self-Care, whilst mom is getting the professional care needed.
Prepare Your Discussion With Family
This is no easy topic. No matter how you play it through in your mind, once everyone gets there all the preparation goes out the door. You suddenly feel like the spotlight is on you and the audience is ready to give you a great big boo.
Your decision to no longer be the caregiver or to be a different kind of caregiver, will definitely impact on other family members. They may think you are deserting mom in her time of need and of course, may be resentful that now, you are making them spend money they did not plan to. Keep in mind whatever the reasons, tensions will be high, words may fly and persons may get angry, but, I implore you to stand your ground.
This is never an easy decision to make. You know what is best for your Caree and most importantly for yourself. Do not be discouraged or feel guilty, even though you will. You got this far, so no backing out now. Hold your ground, be strong and trust in your decision.
How are YOU feeling through this process?
We are our own judge and jury. The fact that we are giving up being the sole caregiver and, on top of it, bringing in a stranger to give care may seem like total madness. You may think; what kind of child am I? Dad would be so disappointed in me. How can I even think of having someone else care for him?
At the same time, however, we may go through a bout of anger and resentment. You may have the following thoughts - If my sister comes back home, we could do this together. My brother does not even come when I ask him to. All the expenses are on me and they are living their happy lives.
If you are an only child, well there is a double dose of guilt, anger, sadness and frustration. The pains are the same (and may seem greater since you are the only child) and the emotions need to be dealt with. We all need to acknowledge how we feel and find ways to channel those feelings.