Family Caregivers May Have To Pay a Price When an Aging Parent Wants to Die At Home.
More and more I see adult children caring for their elderly parents at home and for family caregivers there may be a price to pay.
I don’t think many adult children even think about the time when their parent takes their last breath.
It could happen at home, which sounds like a good thing, but is it?
I have cared for my mother for over 16 years now and I haven’t given this much thought until just recently.
My dad died at home and my older sister died at home but I wasn’t their sole caregiver.
For over 16 years it’s only been myself and my now 100 year old mother.
Taking care of elderly parents in your home is happening more often and sometimes is a heavy price to pay.
Today in my Facebook newsfeed was an article that really got me thinking about this and I haven’t been able to think of anything else.
Is dying at home really best for all those that are involved?
I read an article that shows death now occur at home and deaths in hospitals and nursing homes have dropped.
Looking at this, I’m sure from my mother’s point of view this may make sense to her.
Wouldn’t you want to die in your own bed? Really?
Who wants to die at the hospital with tubes down your throat and IV’s in your arms and maybe hooked up to life support.
Not a pretty picture.
Being in a nursing home can be quite lonely.
I sat with my mom several years ago when she fell and broke her hip and let me tell you I saw those poor girls run their butts off.
To the person laying in the bed and the family sitting beside them it appears their family member is being neglected.
I guess I saw another side since this is what I do at home for my mom.
Now I know there are instances where they truly are neglected but since I do this at home I know how tiring it must be taking care of a whole hall instead of just 1 little old lady, my mom.
A caregivers life changes…
If your elderly parent wants to stay at home to live out their final days they have need a full time person caring for them.
It usually comes down to one particular adult child but the family caregivers will probably pay a price.
This is where the family caregiver bears the full burden when caring for an elderly parent.
Now I do get paid for taking care of my mother thru a local agency but it’s only for 40 hours a week and how many hours in a week are there???
I learned some interesting facts about family caregivers who are caring for alzheimer’s patients.
If you’re the only one caring for your parent that could easily be 24/7 7 days a week which is 168 hours a week.
I care for mom unpaid for 128 of those hours.
Paying the price!
I’ve met numerous people who are caring for their parents either in their home or their parent’s home and taking on the full responsibility of helping them stay home until their last breath is taken.
I know about paying the price and sacrificing as a caregiver because I have first-hand experience of taking care of my mother for 16 + years now.
I’ve witnessed my dad’s death and my older sister’s death both in their homes, but this will be a totally different experience when I go thru it.
Dying at home sounds like a good idea for the older person.
For the adult child who has sacrificed alone and will be left with an empty and lonely place afterwards this experience may not be as good of an idea for them.
I’m sure it’ll be a draining, gut wrenching nightmare that no amount of healing will ever be able to fix.”
Giving up your life to care for an elderly parent.
Mom, at 84 came close to having a stroke and the family doctor told us mom could not live alone anymore.
Mom has outlived all her friends and her siblings except one who is 4 years younger than her.
Well since I had just gone thru a nasty divorce and had come to mom’s to regroup for a couple of weeks before, tell me how I could’ve picked up and said adios and disappeared.
How could a daughter do that?
It came down to me the only one who didn’t have a spouse so that qualified me to come care for mom and honor her wishes which I’m sure is to die at home.
We have a home health nurse who comes in every other week to check mom’s vitals and just to do a basic check over.
She does ask how I’m doing but on a whole I don’t think anyone else even thinks about what I’m going thru.
It’s like turning on the light switch, you just do it without thinking about it.
Family around me know I’m here and just don’t give it any thought.
Mom’s cared for and that’s all that matters.
At least this is what runs through my head all the time.
I also cared for my father up to his death. But I wasn’t alone after he passed away.
This will be a huge difference this time.
I was also my sister’s caregiver but I didn’t live with her so that was different also.
This time I will be left all ALONE and to be truthful I’m a little scared about it so that’s why I’m writing about it now.
Caring for aging parents is a sacrifice and not only you pay the price but your family as well.
What I do…
- prepare mom’s meals 3X daily
- help her take a bath
- check for sores on her bottom
- wash and roll her hair
- doctor visits
- taking her for rides
- sitting on the porch with her
taking care of her EVERY need and all the other duties one does to keep a house up and
I get lost in the daily grind and I forget to take care of Donna and her needs.
Sometimes that loud voice inside my head says “Who’s Donna”?
There are days I truly don’t know.
Now I know it sounds like I’m complaining and maybe in some small way I am, I just get sad when I look around me and I see my family going about family gatherings without me.
It does hurt.
It really does but I’ve had people say “you decided to do this.”
That hurts too.
On the other side I’m very happy to do this for mom.
How can one be happy and sad at the same time for doing what needs to be done.
I’ve watched mom over the months decline in many ways but still spry in many ways.
I’m here alone.
I feel alone.
People tell me to call them…sometimes I do and sometimes I just don’t.
People are out having a life and when I call they can’t just drop everything just for me.
So I just carry on alone and wait…wait for God to carry me thru.
“It’s terrible sometimes and it’s wonderful sometimes,”
“Dying at home may be beautiful to some? … I’m just not sure it will be for me when the time comes.”
Love just isn’t enough and when your mom turns 100 years of age life takes on a different view.
Of course not all see it that way.
Despite the challenges, many caregivers intend to walk the last mile with their loved one.
I’ve never thought anything about it honestly, it was a given that was what we do until I saw and read that article which now has me thinking…ABOUT my future without mom and what it will be like after all these years.
There is stress involved in caring for your aging parent and it effects the caregiver too.
One adult child should not be left alone to handle the situation.
When the time comes I have no idea what it will look like around here.
Who pays the price when an elderly parent decides they want to die at home?
Most adult children who give up their life to be the primary family caregiver will pay some kind of price for the decision when your aging loved one wants to die at home.