Why Pursuing Help for Your Mom Feels Like an Epic Failure

Feelings of Failure and Rethinking Caregiving


  • Eldercare issues can be quite complicated to navigate. Suddenly, we need to learn about Medicare, Medicaid, an array of other programs, medical diagnoses, medications etc. We don’t feel guilty reaching out to a CPA for our business taxes or a financial planner to help manage our money. Yet, each of these areas of eldercare can require a similar level of expertise.
  • Many of us live at a distance from our elderly parents. About 7 million, or 15% of caregivers, are long-distance caregivers. And, moving to be closer is not always the answer (or even possible).
  • With an average age of 49, most caregivers are still working and perhaps raising a family. If we want to manage all these roles well, we can’t do it alone.
  • Our parents’ wishes play an important role in how we care for them (and the challenges involved). This, along with relationship factors between the various family members, might call for some external intervention. An expert, neutral party (i.e. a care manager) can provide planning tips, offer independent evaluation and help with mediation. How do we handle Mom’s refusal to move in with us when that’s the only plan we think will work? What about Dad’s statement that he won’t let his kids provide his personal care? We can’t simply say “You’re going to do what I say” so we need to understand options and find different approaches.

Tips for Caregiving Success

  1. Approach caregiving like other complex aspects of life as an adult. Seek quality information (you’re already on the right path being here…make sure to sign up for our updates too!). Consider setting up a consultation with an expert.
  2. Talk to someone about conflicting feelings or family disagreements. It’s hard enough to manage caregiving when you have great relationships and support.
  3. Understand there’s no one way to do things and seek a supportive community. Our Caregivers Community on Facebook is one example. You may sometimes need a place to share frustrations (and victories) and seek ideas or reassurance.
  4. Realize getting help for your parents is actually a success! You may be failing yourself and your loved one trying to do it all. Many of us struggle to get our parents to accept help, but we have tips for you in that case too.



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