It is difficult to see our parents age before our eyes. The once young woman who pushed you on the swings in Golden Gate Park now suddenly appears old and unsteady. When a parent can no longer live alone, living with an adult child may seem the right thing to do. This combined living situation often has a difficult impact on the families involved. Aim to reduce tensions and resulting stress by preparing the family in advance.
Carefully Consider The Move
Moving a parent into your home may seem like a viable solution or preferred alternative to a nursing home, but weigh the factors. Think carefully about your parent’s place in his or her home and community. This is especially important if the move is long-distance, away from the lifestyle and friends your parent is familiar with. Adult children need to consider ways to make such life changing moves less disruptive. Discuss with your parent what the best solution might be, so they are in on the decision making process.
Hear How Everyone Feels
Before the big move, sit down as a family to hear what each person has to say. There will be definite changes, but having control of these changes helps to give power to each family member. Listen to all suggestions on living, bonding and privacy issues that concern everyone. Be open minded, yet realistic to the emotional and personal value conflicts multi-generational living often brings.
When tensions get high and tantrums flow, take time for you to reenergize. Being your parent’s caretaker doesn’t mean giving up privacy, for you, your family, or for your parent. Everyone deserves and requires private time. If you need to escape for a while, San Francisco offers some lovely walks in Golden Gate Park. Stroll around the Conservatory of Flowers, or cross bridges in the peaceful Japanese Tea Garden. Then stop for a coffee nearby in the De Young Museum Café.
Ask for help
When caregiving becomes too challenging or stressful and you feel overwhelmed, it is important to recognize your limits, at least temporarily. At these times, ask for help from professionals who understand what you are going through and can help you get through it. These San Francisco-based organizations can provide you with the assistance and support you need during this transition.
The following local organizations may be able to help:
605-A Chenery St.
San Francisco, CA 94131
Eldercare Services is a Bay Area resource available to help. Their community of resources, with the skills and knowledge needed to deliver quality care to San Francisco Bay Area families, works to bring support to families in need.
Institute On Aging
3575 Geary Blvd.
San Francisco, CA 94118
The Institute On Aging is a community-based non-profit organization that has been serving the San Francisco Bay Area for more than 25 years.
For more great tricks, tips and advice about your home, visit CBSSanFrancisco.com/YourHome.
Melanie Graysmith is a freelance writer and artist based in San Francisco. She writes on adult education, art and lifestyle topics, and enjoys writing short stories and poetry. Melanie is a member of an independent filmmaking group and aims to spin her stories into film. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.