One of the most interesting things about North America’s societal evolution is the change in family dynamics. For many years, people would have children, and these kids would stay in the family home until they finished school. At that point, most children would move out, establish new careers, and then start families of their own. In recent years, however, some children have opted to stay home or even move back because of their employment and/or economic situation.
We also see the opposite, as more and more elderly parents are moving in with their adult children. This upward trend is almost certain to continue now that seniors outnumber children in Canada.
The trend certainly rings true here at home; many communities surrounding Georgian Bay have older populations compared to the provincial average. Chances are, you know at least one family in the area that includes seniors living with their children.
Why are more seniors living with their children?
The reasons behind the move may be financial, but in most cases, it happens because the parents are at a time in their lives when they can no longer safely live on their own.
Many children feel indebted to their mothers and fathers for the upbringing they provided, and a multi-generational household can be a wonderful place to live. However, caring for senior citizens and their unique needs can sometimes be too much for individuals already dealing with the demands of work and family life.
When Children and Partners Become Caregivers
If one of the senior parents has an ongoing health issue, it can be up to their partner to help. When that is not possible, other family members must assist as well.
Looking after someone with regular needs can be a significant responsibility. Even at the best of times, you have the demands of their everyday requirements (food, dressing, bathing, dental care, laundry) as well as exercise, medication, doctor’s appointments, and visits to other specialists. When there is a complication, the pressure mounts while you try to do all your usual work and home duties, plus deal with the additional issues created by the current affliction.
It can be an exhausting, repetitive cycle, even when several family members are splitting the duties between them. Stress and social isolation eventually take a toll on everyone’s life, and that can lead to caregiver burnout and even resentment. Meanwhile, the parents will feel that they are nothing more than a burden, and that can create depression and anxiety issues. If one or both have dementia, inadequate care can result in accidents and other tragedies that directly affect everyone under that roof.
There can also be an intense feeling of pressure to make an intergenerational set-up work. If not, most children think they have failed their parents and, thus, obliged them to spend the rest of their lives in a managed care facility.
Having one or both parents spend their golden years in your home can be a wonderful experience, but there is no shame in admitting you need help.
Right at Home Georgian Triangle provides the knowledgeable and compassionate aid you need to make your household a place of comfort and safety once more. Our professional caregivers will work with your parents to determine their needs and provide the daily attention they require.
We can also accompany clients into the community for appointments, fill in so that family members can have respite time, and provide the sense of familiarity and organization.
Call us at (705) 293-550 or send us an email to learn more about how we can help bring harmony back to your home.