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When Roles of a Parent and Child Are Reversed

By Marius Butas, 6:10 pm on

The role reversal that takes place between a parent and their child as they age is often difficult to cope with. The person who always cared for you and made sure your needs were met now needs you to take care of them. The road will inevitably be rocky, however many devoted families step into the role of caregiver without a second thought. As a provider of home care Mesa families trust, we wanted to share a bit of insight into this role reversal so family caregivers know what challenges to expect along the way.

In the early stages of caregiving, your loved one may only need minimal help. You can adequately assist with meal preparation, housekeeping and medication reminders and can provide accompaniment to medical appointments and transportation for errands. However, during the caregiving process, the role reversal becomes most apparent when personal care needs arise. When help is needed with bathing, dressing and incontinence, seniors may feel embarrassed and perhaps ashamed to need help. Adult children on the other hand are concerned about protecting their loved one’s dignity and independence. The feelings experienced by the senior and the caregiver are often high in emotion and truly highlight the reversal in care.

Another situation that highlights the role reversal between an aging parent and their child is when there is a diagnosis of dementia. Seniors with dementia suffer a decline in memory and cognitive functioning which leads to changes in behavior. Dementia patients often exhibit child-like behavior which can include angry outbursts, wandering and extreme disorientation. When dementia care in Mesa is required, family caregivers find the caregiving role even more difficult. Watching a loved one behave as a child and forget cherished memories and familiar faces can be devastating for the family caregiver.

Unfortunately, while adult children often want to step into the role of caregiver for their loved one, complex care needs or the diagnosis of a degenerative condition demand help from others. It is important for family members to recognize that there is absolutely nothing wrong with asking for help with caregiving. In fact, recognizing the need for help is a strength rather than a weakness, indicating that you want the best and highest level of care for your loved one.

If you are overwhelmed by the care needs of an aging parent or loved one, contact Home Care Assistance of Mesa today. We offer Mesa hourly home care for respite, allowing family caregivers to take a break from their caregiving responsibilities while a professional and compassionate caregiver maximizes comfort and safety for the senior. Allow our caregivers to take care of your loved one so you can return to your role as a loving and devoted son or daughter. To learn more about our care services, contact a Care Manager today at (480) 699-4899 and schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation.