Caregiving in a Multi-Generational Household

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This past week I attended a biannual meeting of an eclectic group of people from all over who are somehow related to the field of aging, marketing and caregiving.

Hiro, a member from Japan, shared the meaning of the term "busy" in Japanese. It is: "losing heart."

When you become a caregiver, an already busy schedule becomes even busier!

Parents who are employed and already juggling multiple responsibilities have to juggle even more to tend to the additional tasks of caring for an elderly loved one. During a fit of feeling overwhelmed, and in the name of getting caregiving responsibilities completed, some of these tasks get delegated to children in the household. Parents may not fully realize this is happening, and sometimes these tasks are not age appropriate.

Soon children begin to learn to juggle more too.

Issues and frustrations can develop for children when, without even realizing it, their schedules become too busy with new caregiving responsibilities and their primary job of learning becomes compromised. This sacrifice doesn't stop at their education; their health, well-being and childhood can also be pushed aside to make time to help care for an aging family member.

In short, these children and their parents give up their hearts to their "busy" lives as family caregivers.

Family caregivers can benefit from developing a care plan to organize daily tasks. Once a care plan is in place, the caregiver can efficiently organize their duties in order to better lend their complete focus to one task at a time. Build balance in your household by completing a care plan for the benefit of everyone involved.

Connie Siskowski, RN, PhD has a broad background in health care and a dedication to diminishing caregiving ramifications for family caregivers of all ages. Her passion led to the establishment of a nonprofit that evolved from supporting homebound adults and caregiving families to become the American Association for Caregiving Youth.

American Assoc. for Caregiving Youth

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