What do you think? Does the child become the parent in a role reversal? Is it helpful to think that way?Boca Home Care Services would like to hear from our readers. Please share your stories, tips about what works for you and your parents. What is the best way to help an ailing or aging parent maintain dignity?
Visiting a new client today who is battling cancer and has been for a long time, is now accommodating her daughter’s request/demand for in -home assistance. She said to me, well it is the role reversal now, the daughter becomes the mother.
This is a common statement in “the literature” also. But is it true? Does the child become the parent and the parent the child? The sharing of some responsibilities, decisions become a more shared venture but the PArent is always the Parent just as the Chile is always the Child.
It may feel like the change is all encompassing, especially in cases of Alzheimer’s Disease and other Dementias but no matter how much responsibility is handed over or assumed the history remains and the order is an underpinning of the changed relationship.
Some adult sons and daughters assume more responsibility out of love or respect or just circumstance. Whichever it is in your family, remember that what was, on some level will always be. In any relationship, roles may change for a time or for good and the new must be gotten used to or accommodated in order to move forward
Within families, when a parent is ill how is the choice made which adult child will be the overall decision maker or caregiver? What of the other parent? When there is more than one child, how is a division of responsibility made?
In working with families in these types of situations, we generally recommend to breakdown the responsibilities amongst the family. For instance one person handles finances, another handles the medical and perhaps another manages legal matters. Ideally they will agree planningis easier when there is agreement. Parents can make a big contribution to family harmony by designating who has the Power of Attorney, or shared POA, who is the Medical Surrogate and so forth.
Geriatric Care Managers may be consulted or hired to be the family conductor also. Whichever plan your family chooses, remember, your mother is always your mother as is your father always your father, even when you are the caregiver or decision maker.
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