How do you know if you are the "right" caregiver for your parents? - AgingCare.com

How do you know if you are the "right" caregiver for your parents?

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I have major depressive disorder and weight gain, which makes me embarrassed. the weight gain is partly my fault and partly because there is so much food around my parents' house (altho no one makes me eat it.) they are already driving me crazy and they still are relatively self sufficient. I have seen all these scenarios on here and altho I think all of us has strengths we didn't know exist I'm really not sure I can do this. I have a sister in NJ with major health problems and a brother in the UK who just started his own family. Any advice?

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Whoops.... big mistake. The last paragraph should have read: "Try to imagine that you're interviewing for a job..." Sorry, folks.
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I think if most of us asked ourselves that question, we would find it an impossible one to answer. Sometimes we're the right caregiver only because we're the only caregiver. Unfortunately I don't think it's a situation in which we can analyze the pros and cons and evaluate our capabilities - we're just too close to the situation to be objective. But that's exactly what I would suggest.

We all have strengths and weaknesses, so the key is to find those and emphasize the former and de-emphasize and compensate for the latter.

Having been on this forum, you probably have a pretty good idea of the wide range of issues that can occur. Try to analyze them and develop scenarios for how you would handle them.

Without sounding trite, these are opportunities to expand problem solving abilities, care for our parents during their final years, and feel good that we're helping them when they need it. There are studies that demonstrate positive feedback when people do good works - we have to find ways to emphasize and enhance our abilities to do those good deeds. But it isn't always easy!

Your sister in NJ may have skill sets to offer than aren't impacted by her health problems, and your brother may be able to use some of his fatherly skills to help your parents. It is in fact at this stage of life that we become more the parents and our parents become the children.

I would think over the issues you expect to address, how they can be handled, and e-mail both your siblings and ask how they can help.

As to overeating, I would expect that many of us here have compensated in some way, whether it's with medication or meditation, food, drink, walking out and away until calmed down, exercise, listening to music or petting the family cat or dog....whatever method works (and sometimes nothing works).

Try to imagine that you're interfering for a job - how would you present your skills and how would you handle the problems? At least that will help you assess your strengths and identify your weaknesses.

and....join the crowd!
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Can you get your parents help so that you're not the one living in their home? Get them into a facility or get them help in their home that's not you. But even in that scenario, there is stress involved. Anyone doing caregiving is going to have stress.

You could also pool your resources with your siblings and parent and hire a geriatric care manager who will oversee all of your parents' needs. But there has to be money available to do that, because those folks are only private pay.
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