Millennials across the country are feeling the pressure to provide care and support for an aging loved one, whether it be parents or grandparents. Millennials include anyone born between the years of 1981 and 1996. Millennials are often the subject of a variety of negative stereotypes, including assumptions that they are lazy, ill-prepared, and lack ambition. However, millennials around the globe are buying homes, having children, holding steady jobs, and becoming caregivers.
Currently, millennials make up almost a third of caregivers in Canada. Many of them working more than 20 extra hours a week as family caregivers for elderly parents and grandparents. This can be an overwhelming burden as the stress of balancing work, friends, and family can become too much to handle. A lot of millennials are acutely aware that they will likely end providing some level of care for their parents, if they are not already doing so, and are wondering what that situation might look like.
There is a wide variety of practices and techniques that help family caregivers provide effective care and support. Three useful tips that can help improve the home care situation are:
One of the best things you can do before your parents need home care assistance is to sit down with them while they are still healthy and cognizant. Discussions about thoughts, concerns, and ambitions for the future can be extremely helpful to get you and your parents on the same page.
Some potential conversation starters could be:
It is very likely that your parents had challenges working with your grandparents at some point. It could have been a battle to get them to give up their license when driving became dangerous, refusing to accept a medical diagnosis, or not accepting care when they obviously needed help. If they struggled with your grandparents, ask them how they would like you to handle the same situation.
It is often easier to think clearly about what plan is best for future “might be, could happen” situations when we’re healthy. Likely this won’t be one big conversation, but a series of small conversations over time.
Efficient time management is absolutely essential to balance full-time jobs, raising children, social activity, personal interests, and basically to just keep yourself sane. How can you care for your loved one, meet your children’s needs, maintain your income, and still have time for self-care and your personal relationships? Here are some helpful time management tips to ease the strain:
Plans will go off track at some point, and crises will happen. Unexpected issues are inevitable, so when this happens keep in main that it is not your fault! The time management skills you’ve been practicing and mastering will help you get back on track faster.
Maintaining your own physical and mental health is crucial for providing effective care for a loved one.
If you need to take a few days or a week away don’t be afraid to do that! Call in support. That support can come from friends or family members who will visit while you’re away, hiring a housekeeper, or bringing in a professional caregiver.