Many people might think that being an only-child caregiver is about as difficult a duty as there is. There’re no siblings offering physical, emotional or financial support. There’s no one with a similar understanding of who your parents are and how they operate. There’s no one to consult with about pressing matters or to bounce around care ideas with. On the other hand, there’s also no one to butt heads with, leaving you able to make quick decisions.Â Could it be that it’s actually easier to be an only-child caregiver?
Psychologist Susan Newman tends to think so.
Newman, author of The Case for the Only Child: Your Essential Guide, told the AARP blog,When people think of only-children they think of having no one to turn to, but that’s not usually the case. Rather, Newman says an only-child caregiver has plenty of people to turn to for help and consultation, including spouses, friends and professionals — the type of people an only-child has become used to reaching out to his or her entire lives.
Newman goes on to share three tips for only-child caregivers.
1. Shore up yourÂ support system. Friends, spouses and your own children can help with Grandma (even if it’s just phone calls).
2. Don’t try to go it alone. Ask docs and other caregivers forÂ adviceÂ and resources. Reminder: ManyÂ caregiversÂ try to do everything themselves and get sick. No one can afford that, especially an only child.
3. Hire a sibling. A professionalÂ geriatric care managerÂ will be able toÂ guide you, hook you up with programs, agencies and specific needs. She will be able to steer you to volunteerÂ transportationÂ initiatives, for instance, a bookkeeper, or in-home aide.
Are there any more benefits to being an only-child caregiver? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter.
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