Caring for a relative: How to hand over responsibility when the time is right
Caring for a relative or close friend can be immensely rewarding, but it can also be physically and emotionally challenging.
Often, there comes a time when sustaining an informal family carer arrangement is no longer feasible. However, even when the signs are there, this decision is a difficult one.
You'll want to be sure the handover process is smooth. You'll also want to know your loved one will continue to receive the same standard of personalised care and companionship as before.
Here, we'll provide you with useful advice regarding handing over the responsibility for caring for a relative.
Things to think about when handing over responsibility for caring for a relative
These are the key factors you should think about when handing over responsibility:
1) Overcoming guilt
Even if intended as a stopgap measure, handing over care responsibility for a relative is often associated with feelings of guilt.
However, there are all kinds of valid reasons why this transition might be needed.
Older spouses often come to require support themselves, while children may find this responsibility no longer fits with commitments regarding their job or family life. Sometimes, the physical and emotional pressures just become too much.
In any case, it's crucial to avoid guilt. Be confident that you're making this decision for the right reasons, and that your loved one will continue to receive a high standard of care. Most importantly, recognise that this change is likely to be beneficial for both of you.
And, when you look on this change positively, your attitude will make the transition easier for your relative.
2) Having a conversation
Start the care conversation well in advance to ensure their needs and preferences are catered for comprehensively.
In this way, you can make the prospect of formal care seem less daunting. You can also avoid unnecessary stress, and work through all available options together.
Set aside time to talk to them in an informal yet private setting, potentially with a handful of other close family members. Listen to their views, and think about why certain factors may mean a lot to them.
Then, look at all relevant care models, and decide which will best support their medical and social needs.
Talking in this way will help you both feel more confident, and ease the process of moving into a formal care arrangement.
3) Prioritising their wishes
A big part of family care is knowing you're making decisions based on your loved one's long-held lifestyle preferences.
As such, you'll want to find a care model that's as adaptable as you've been. Maintaining this going forward will help improve their quality of life by enhancing their sense of independence and self-determination.
With live-in care, your loved one's care programme is built around them. They can stick with their preferred daily schedule, and even stay in their own home. This keeps them close to their cherished possessions and the community in which they've put down roots.
Handing over responsibility for caring for a relative is never easy. But, by taking these points on board, you can ensure your loved one continues to receive the personalised support they need.
If you’d like to find out more about how The Good Care Group can help smooth the transition from family care to a formal arrangement, contact our friendly team.