Parenting Your Parent?

Parenting Your Parent?

Timothy Lee, Waterloo Qualicare Franchise owner, discusses the importance of taking care of our parents as they took care of us.

When your own parents start to show signs they need extra care, are you prepared to parent your parents? Too many of us would say no.

How do you step in when Mom is still alert, energetic and independent? Was dad weak or frail when you fell off the monkey bars? How do you respect their dignity and independence when you start to worry more about them than they worry about you?

Distance can be a factor. On average, 58% of older parents have at least one child that is more than an 1.5 hours drive away. According to the Vanier Institute, between 15-23% of adult children live over 1,000 KMS (621 miles) from one or both of their parents. The reasons vary – career, marriage and life choices by both the parent and the child influence this situation.

For some, the answer is relocation. Either move yourself temporarily or relocate the elder parent. But this option isn’t always practical. Relocation is disruptive, expensive and emotionally draining on everyone involved.

Doing nothing is not ideal, but unfortunately, parental care is easy to ignore. In April 2012, the Health Council of Canada reported that 1 in 5 seniors who were not receiving homecare fell at least once in 12 months. While any fall is concerning, what was more alarming is that two-thirds resulted in an injury, and less than half (39%) of those injured received any medical attention.

Experts agree that risks are reduced when homecare is present. The Ontario Ministry of Health is increasing its homecare focus even in the midst of cuts to the health care budget.

Local hospitals are enforcing the term “Home First,” which refers to an initiative to encourage homecare after you leave the hospital. Similarly, local hospitals have a “Wait at Home” initiative to encourage homecare in preparation for coming to the hospital for a procedure.

The time to parent your parent may have come or will come in the future. The good news is that there are more options today than ever before. The starting point is to talk it over with each other, even if it’s via Skype from another part of the world.

Qualicare’s franchising opportunities knows all too well the importance of taking care of a parent and at Qualicare there is a huge focus on spreading awareness. We have specific programs that look after your parents once they are discharged from hospitals. Also, we are able to review their current living conditions and recommend changes to ensure their safety around the home.