When the Roles Reverse and You Become Your Mother’s Caregiver
If anyone tells you that supporting a person with incontinence isn’t stressful, they haven’t had to do it. Personally, I have an adult son who has been incontinent his entire life. When I tell people this, they imagine a paralyzed or bed ridden individual, one who is changed at home, with all the supplies handy, acquiescent and compliant. But that is not the case.
Incontinence is a common condition affecting approximately 13 million Americans (possibly more because many of those living with it may feel shame, embarrassment or anxiety, and do not feel comfortable discussing the topic). It is estimated that the 70% of people with incontinence don’t seek help for their problem. Needing help and being vulnerable is something that is hard to accept for many people, especially those who have played the role of caregiver throughout their lifetime, making it even more difficult to accept care for themselves.
Being a caregiver means juggling a lot of responsibilities. From managing different kinds of medications, scheduling doctor appointments, answering phone calls from concerned loved ones, greeting the hospice nurse, cooking dinner for your care recipient, to keeping the house clean, and perhaps even working a job yourself, you’ve got a lot to keep track of.