Is it better to be an only-child caregiver?

home care omahaMany 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. 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 your 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 for advice and resources. Reminder: Many caregivers try to do everything themselves and get sick. No one can afford that, especially an only child.

3. Hire a sibling. A professional geriatric care manager will be able to guide you, hook you up with programs, agencies and specific needs. She will be able to steer you to volunteer transportation 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.

Encompass Senior Solutions currently serving Omaha, Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa provides seniors and their families a complete understanding of the available care options and helps families maneuver through the challenges of the system. All Encompass services are directed by registered nurses or licensed clinical social workers with no long-term contracts. Contact us today for help with your senior care needs.

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