Since launching in May we have had the privilege of helping many families find carers for someone they love. Through this process we have been blown away at the selfless and tireless commitment of many children to their elderly parents.
We have met daughters who move in with mothers, so they can be there during the night when they get overwhelmed by confusion and disorientation related to their dementia. Siblings who make sure they visit their parents every day to prepare meals and be with them and children who frequently put everything in their own lives on hold to support parents during check-ups, specialist appointments and hospital stays.
Caring for elderly parents may be the greatest thank you we can give to those who cared for us so tirelessly when we were young. It can be an important reminder of life’s fleetingness and the cycle of life that we are all part of – things we so frequently forget in our busy lives.
However this does not take away from the emotional and physical toll of being a carer.
It is confronting to see your parents – the people who taught you tie shoes laces and cross roads – become frail and unable to do daily tasks. There is the added sadness that can come when parents descend into dementia and become disorientated, depressed and unable to recognise those around them. Old age can also bring a general grumpiness, of which children doing the caring can bear the brunt.
The physical tasks may start of quite straightforward – a bit of help with cooking and cleaning but eventually become more demanding – help dressing, showering, toileting and lifting.
Despite these difficulties, the families we speak to remain committed to supporting parents to age in their homes for as long as possible, because they know this is what their parents want.
Next week is Carers Week - a week to celebrate the important work of carers. It is the perfect opportunity to acknowledge the ongoing, selfless, often exhausting caring that many children do for their elderly parents. Thank you! Click here to find out about Careseekers' special gift to carers.
And remember, Careseekers is always here to help you – maybe you need a carer so that you can have a break or to take over some of the tasks you do. Call us on 1300 765 465 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org.