Caring for our Sick Parents: Episode 151

SICK PARENTSCaring for our Sick Parents

Many of us have aging parents who need constant care and attention. People who have to contribute to caregiving for their sick parents can have a challenging time managing their own personal life. Some even have to move from their homes and jobs to move in with their parents.

It's not unusual for someone to completely start over after their parents pass away and it may take many years to achieve stability in their own life once again. Our guest Ruth Ullmann shares a similar experience. She gave up her career in internal business consultation and devoted her time for elder care.

She can be called an elder care coach and helps people care for their aging parents while driving a successful business.

How it all began…

Ruth has been helping companies, groups and individuals write success stories for 20 years. She has been featured on Fox, CBS, NBC, and ABC News, and was busy with her career. But a call from her sister changed everything — her mom was in the hospital and this was not the first time!

It was the fifth time in the year she had to come out of a meeting on a phone call which notified her that her mother had to be taken to the hospital. She realized that it was not working for her to be so far from her parents, so she decided to quit her job and move into a house closer to her parents.

She started consulting locally and things went fine for around 7 years. Then one day her mother had to be hospitalized again and gradually ended up in the ICU on a ventilator. Ruth found herself in a difficult situation as her mother was the primary caregiver for her dad who has also had health issues as well. He was diabetic, had dementia, and needed a wheelchair to move around.

Ruth's dad passed away 10 months later at a time when her own health was not in good condition. It took her over 5 years to get her health back on track and in this time her business was not doing well.

The time for realizations

The experience taught Ruth quite a few things and she realized that it was difficult for anyone to take care of their parents and handle business objectives at the same time.

She wished that she knew how to take care of her sick parents and work on her business at the same time. She wished she had conversations with her parents about what they wanted in the end.

Ruth also realized a few more things – primary caregivers are more likely to pass away earlier due to the stress of caregiving – almost with 44% mortality incidence rate. She realized that you should accompany your parents to the doctor so that you don't have to rely on second-hand information. You could know what is going on with your parents and help them relay their conditions and health status.

The realizations led her to change the nature of her business. She now started advising small businesses and entrepreneurs to meet business objectives while caring for aging parents. The business has two arms.

* help businesses stay in business while caring for aging parents

* helping families navigate elder care

She provides one-on-one consultation to entrepreneurs to become the leaders of their business. Much of it begins with automation and slowly working your way to transform into a CEO than become a day-to-day worker.

How Eldercare can help with our sick parents

Eldercare has many aspects which all of us are not aware of. We don't have a clear idea about how the industry works, the details about different services such as assisted living or rehabilitation centers and the legal, financial and medical aspects of healthcare services.

Ruth is the founder of Myeldercarejourney.com where she helps people on topics related to elder care and other services. She has an online course called Navigate Elder Care which gives you a comprehensive understanding of the topic.

For people who don't have time to spare, there are focus series on topics related to healthcare. You can also have your queries answered on the weekly QA session conducted by Ruth.

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