Jump to:Page Content
Join the conversation with other caregivers and get information from our home health care experts.
You’ve unpacked the boxes, you’ve done your best to get your parent settled—and you’re finding that despite your careful planning, things aren’t sailing as smoothly as you hoped. No matter how many generations are living in your household, familial squabbles are inevitable. Here are common reasons why the tension might build, and how to calm the waters.
Some of the biggest issues may revolve around shifting schedules and the extreme time constraints of full-time caregiving. Lack of privacy or time together can put a lot of stress on your relationship, so it’s important to remember to plan time together. Do you have children? “Kids of all ages can help with caregiving,” says Judy Santamaria, director of the Family Caregiver Support Program for VNSNY.“Teens can drive grandma to her doctor’s appointment or help with the laundry, and younger kids can assist with the dinner preparations or fetch grandma’s slippers. Even the presence of a toddler can be a huge distraction, especially when your parent has limited mobility.” When caregiving becomes a family affair, you’ll have an easier time scheduling time for yourself—including date nights with your spouse.
“Focus on the benefits for your entire family,” advises Judy Santamaria. Yes, having a grandparent move in means extra housework for the kids, but it will also bring important lessons about kindness, acceptance and responsibility. Make sure it isn’t all drudgery, though—be sure to plan activities that the entire family will enjoy. “Encourage your parent to introduce the music from their generation to your kids and vice versa; pick a movie that everyone can watch; or ask your parent to prepare his or her favorite meal—teens will love anything your parent makes,” she says.
Keeping your parent active and occupied on weekday afternoons might pose a particular challenge for you, especially if both you and your spouse work full time. If your parent becomes grouchy or complains of boredom or loneliness, consider enrolling your parent in a local adult day care program. Most programs provide transportation to and from the program’s facilities. “If your parent is resistant to the idea, just explain that you don’t want her to feel alone during the day. It’s a valid solution for your concerns,” says Judy Santamaria.
To find out how VNSNY can help you care for your family member, please call 1-800-675-0391.