When did I sign up to be a caregiver?

Oftentimes, adult children find themselves performing caregiving tasks that might otherwise be offered from a professional provider. The parent is still living at home, relying on one or more adult children as an alternative to hiring an in-home caregiver or moving into assisted living. In other scenarios, the parents might have moved to independent living or assisted living.

In many instances, the commitment to caregiving becomes more than the adult children can handle, but they’ve become trapped in the role without a viable way out.

Setting Boundaries

Caregiving becomes time-consuming and stressful, and it often puts a strain on the caregiver’s marriage, family life, social life, and/or work situation. That’s why it’s so important for family caregivers to set boundaries.

Setting boundaries also means not feeling guilty that you can’t give more and more of yourself as your parent ages. Adult children feel they have to rearrange their lives to accommodate whatever assistance their parent requires. However, this is not always practical—nor is it reasonable to expect adult children to put all of their needs aside for those of their parents.

Finding Solutions

The solutions for your parent can be any number of alternatives to family caregiving, such as professional in-home care, assistance from volunteer organizations, or a move to independent or assisted living. It’s best to discuss alternatives for caregiving before your parent’s health starts to decline.

By having a plan that considers all contingencies, families will be more prepared to deal with changing circumstances—and the adult children are less likely to find themselves in the position of becoming an accidental caregiver.


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