The Family Caregiver: How To Balance It All And Not Go Crazy
If your parents are reaching their later years as your own family is growing, it can mean that you end up caring for two generations. Being the caregiver for both your kids and your parents at the same time is a tough job, yet it’s one that many people end up doing. Juggling both of these important tasks takes a lot of work, and there’s a lot potentials for you to quickly become exhausted. It can also take its toll on your children, and your parents could also struggle to live with other people again, especially children or teenagers. There are ways you can handle caring for both parents and kids, making it easier for everyone.
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Bring the Generations Together
Firstly, it’s important not to try and handle things too separately. You might be different generations, but you’re still one family. Making sure that everyone spends time together and perhaps helps each other out a little is a great idea. You might have seen some care homes that are combined with nurseries or have preschool children come to play every day. Children can help to invigorate elderly people and keep them company. Your kids can help to care for your parents (if they want to) and your parents might be able to help watch over your children too.
Get Help with Care
It’s essential that you don’t put too much pressure on yourself to do everything. You have to be realistic about how much time you have and what you can get done during that time. You’re not a superhero, even if you wish you were one. Sometimes it’s necessary to get help from others, whether it’s friends, family, neighbors or professional at home senior care. Paying for respite care sometimes is worth it to give everyone a break. You can also choose to use babysitters to watch over the kids, or perhaps send them to do activities away from the house.
Open communication is essential when you have a home where several generations are all trying to get along with each other. You might feel like your home is overcrowded as it is, without it breeding resentment. It’s important that no one bottles things up if something is annoying or upsetting them. But, equally, everyone also needs to make an effort to let some things go. Of course, you might apply this differently when it comes to children. Encourage them to express their feelings and discuss them honestly.
Give Everyone Alone Time
Everyone should get some time to themselves if they want it. That can be hard to do if there are a lot of people in your home. Hopefully, everyone has their own bedroom or at least a space they can call their own. It’s also important to get out of the house, whether that means your parent going to a senior day center, your kids going to a play date or you going out for a date night.
It’s tough to look after two different generations, and ibeing the caregiver might feel like you don’t have time for yourself. But if you plan your time wisely, everyone can be happier.