Caregiving means switching roles

Kevin Magna

May 11, 2011

One of the most difficult transitions that often occurs when families are caring for an older adult is a role reversal between parent and child, because this can cause tension and resentment from seniors who still want to be independent. 

"You have switched roles and you become the parent now," caregiver Jackie Quinn told The Glen Burnie Patch. "Stand your ground and make the right decision for them when they can't. You know what is best for them and you need to be ready to deal with whatever comes your way."

Many older adults want to remain independent as long as possible. Installing a personal emergency response system in a home can be a good way to help ensure that seniors are safe while aging alone, because this device enables them to send a medical alert if they require assistance.

Quinn's biggest piece of advice for caregivers struggling to adjust to their new position is to bring a notebook whenever visiting a parent at home or helping a loved one go to the doctor. Record different medical recommendations or changes in behavior so that it's easier to stay on top of changing health conditions.