Multigenerational Living – Enlisting Support

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 9,265
    Mary Alexander with Home Instead Senior Care talks about multi-generational living. This video will focus on how to get support for your care giving activities.

    Mary Alexander: Hi I am Mary Alexander from Home Instead Senior Care and today, I talking about multi-generational living. Now we are going to talk about how to get support for your care giving activities. According to a national survey conducted by the Home Instead Senior Care network 72% of adults who are currently providing care for an aging loved one, do it without any outside help. To avoid burnout and stress, you need to enlist the help of other family members, friends, or consider hiring a professional care-giving service. Asking for help is sometimes difficult. But there are a few surefire ways to enlist support. Let's discuss those.

    First, give each person a responsibility. For example, since your parent lives with you, and you are responsible for groceries and meals, have another family member be responsible for the medical aspect of care. And another who will take mom or dad to social activities. Even if a sibling lives a thousand miles away, make it his or her responsibility to visit for a week or two each year to allow you to take your own family vacation.

    Whatever the work arrangement, do make sure to converse with other family members about your elderly relative including their debilitating health or amount of time you are spending caring for them. The more you keep them up-to-date, the more likely you are to enlist their help.

    Another way to keep everyone one the same page is through written agreements such as a sibling support agreement. This contract outlines the support responsibilities of adult children in several situations, including when a parent comes to live with them. The written agreement specifies who pays for what, who manages bills, who has access to assets and income, whose name is on the deed and who will inherit joint property.

    Another agreement type is an advancement clause which is used by senior parents to ensure that money and property given to the care-taker is deducted from their inheritance. This document helps keep financial interactions between senior parents and adult children out in the open.

    In some situations, families choose to enter into a personal care contract which stipulates that adult children providing care to their senior relative for life, will receive a lump sum payment upon the senior's passing. The purpose of this contract is to keep the senior at home or with the care-taker and give the care-taker incentive to give maximum effort without fear that another family member will contest the payment or the gift under duress, if you think any of these contracts might be good for your situation, be sure to meet with an elder law attorney. Most family care-givers struggle to balance care-giving for an aging parent or relative with other major responsibilities including jobs, and caring for your own children. This often means that there is little time to care for yourself, which can result in poor health and high levels of stress. However, if you don't take care of yourself, you will never be able to continue taking care of your loved ones.

    This means eating right, getting adequate rest, building exercise into your schedule, and keeping up with your own medical appointments. You should also consider joining a local care-giver support group. They are great for getting practical advice from people who are in your situation and to bounce of those feelings of stress since everyone is likely to be in the same situation and can empathize.

    Now, that we have discussed ways to prepare your family and take care of yourself, in our next video, we will talk about how to ready your home for you parent's arrival.