How To Avoid Role Reversal With A Family Caregiver In Marietta, OH and Parkersburg, WV
Find out how you can avoid unhealthy role reversal when receiving help from a family caregiver in Marietta, OH and Parkersburg, WV.
When an adult child begins taking care of their parent it is easy for roles to quickly become reversed. Suddenly the father or mother who spent years teaching children how to do dishes and clean up around the house needs assistance doing these same tasks. In these situations, role reversal is a common issue that is shaped by the existing relationship between parent and child. Often this issue can be alleviated by proper communication, and in worst case scenarios a home caregiver can step in to lend a hand.
When an aging parent asks for help there is a healthy way that family members can help. This is done through open and honest communication with both the parent and adult child being respectful and neither one trying to act parental. This can sometimes be a difficult balance. If you have noticed the following in your family caregiving relationship, it might be time to reevaluate your interactions or seek external care resources:
- Placing Guilt: This may even be an offhand comment when someone feels underappreciated, but if a senior feels guilty asking for additional help or a caregiver feels unable to take the time off they need then it may be time to reevaluate the relationship.
- Being Judgmental: Seniors move slowly, and despite best efforts an adult child may never clean the house the way a parent would like. Making judgmental comments such as “move faster” or “that’s not how I would do it” could be a warning sign of underlying issues.
- Patronizing: Often due to raising their own children, family members may take on those same qualities when speaking to an aging parent. This may not be intended as a patronizing act but is still worth bringing up in an open conversation.
- Withholding Information or Making Decisions: Perhaps one of the most serious issues that can occur with role reversal is that information is withheld, or decisions are made without the consent of the senior. A family caregiver may qualify this as not wanting to cause distress, but if this occurs you may wish to seek an outside mediator and additional care services.
Not every family caregiver relationship ends in unpleasant role reversal. If your adult child is thinking about becoming your home caregiver, then be sure to set guidelines and communicate with each other. Some basic tips for avoiding toxic role reversal are:
- Maintain open communication
- Acknowledge that you both have the right to say “no”
- Be respectful of one another
- Don’t be afraid to ask for additional help
- Be honest with one another
If your family member wishes to help you as a home caregiver, Comfort Keepers of Marietta, OH wants to help. We offer temporary respite care for family caregivers who need a break. Ongoing care can be established to provide extra care and support beyond what a family caregiver can perform. Contact our office today to find out how we can help you get the care you need while avoiding role reversal.