Although lolo and lola may seem productive and independent, sooner or later they will be showing signs of advancing years—from relatively simple conditions such as difficulty in hearing or poor eyesight, to more complex diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
The physical, physiological and psychological changes that come with age result in the senior’s increasing dependence on others. Having a family member take care of an elderly loved one is usually preferred for many reasons. It’s more comfortable for the care recipient, more reassuring for the family, and requires less financial resources. But it’s not always a feasible option.
Knowing when help is needed
Rowena, whose mother has been battling Parkinson’s since 1988, decided to get a caregiver after her mom had heart surgery in 2003. She recalls, “By then, her [condition] had progressed to the point that she [needed] someone to be with her even after she recovered from surgery.”
No one in her immediate family could take on the responsibility. And time isn’t the only thing to consider. Rowena points out, “Apart from the physical demands of caregiving, it is sometimes mentally and emotionally taxing for some family members to be their parent's caregivers. [My tita] lived with my lola and was the only one at home with her. Although my tita was quite committed to taking care of her mother, you could see that it was also taking its toll on her.”
We must remember that it’s all about giving the best possible care, and a stressed, emotionally drained son or daughter may not be the right person for the job.
Finding a match
Since the caregiver will be spending a lot of time alone with your loved one, hiring the right person for the job is crucial. Here are some ways to ensure a good match: