Just because you’re the caring nurse doesn’t mean you’re not also the adult child of an aging parent. More often than not, we think that because we’re in the health care field we should know what to do. But it’s a whole different ballgame when it’s your parent versus your patient.
As the adult daughter and now as a senior care advisor, I work with nursing professionals that are now managing the ‘now what do we do’ issue of an aging mom, dad, or other relative.
Here are ten tips to help you get through it:
- Reach out and find a specialist in the field – yes, you may be ahead of the curve because you’ll understand POA, HIPAA, PRN, BID, TID, and such, but it’s very different when it becomes personal.
- Educate yourself on the disease or disorder.
- Accept help and don’t go it alone.
- If you have siblings, allow someone else to be the spokesperson. Believe me, this will be extremely useful when you are stressed out.
- Have the conversation with your siblings or other family members about legal documents. A checklist of what’s needed can be found on my website, www.TheSeniorSite.com.
- Share the medical power-of-attorney responsibility with another sibling or family member, if you cannot give up that responsibility.
- Look into a self-contained electronic medical record for all the documents that can be stored on a flash drive. There are companies that offer these services. We endorse Medefile, but again, others exist, and this is not a commercial.
- Realize that, even though you are a health care professional, you cannot prevent aging, but you can learn from the experience and stay healthy for yourself!
- As the daughter, do not position yourself as the ‘housekeeper,’ ‘errand runner,’ ‘grocery shopper,’ – you get the point – visit to visit not to run yourself ragged.
- As the son and the caring nurse for your parent, same applies, and keep in mind dignity with aging.
Nurses, please leave a comment below sharing your thoughts on this article!