As you as a parent get older, you may have to cope with your own changing health needs, as well as continuing to care for your son or daughter. If certain tasks get too difficult, you may find you end up in a position of ‘mutual caring', with your child also acting as a carer and looking after your needs. Emotionally this can be a very difficult and frustrating time, especially if you have been caring for your son or daughter for their whole life. It can also make you worry about the future, especially who will care for your child and what support will be available for them.
If you find your needs as a family are no longer being met, it is important to ask for extra support and to consider the options available to you. In some cases you may need to consider an alternative living option for your son or daughter, where they will receive the additional support that you can no longer give. Making a will can also help to put your mind at ease about how your child will be provided for in the future.
Our relationship has changed to one of mutual dependency. As my son has matured he has begun to care for and support me.
Your changing needs as a parent should also be taken into consideration in your carer's assessment, a document that looks at the impact of your caring role on you and your family and details what support should be provided, for example short breaks, or help with household tasks.
The carer's assessment is separate to the help given to your son or daughter and your family, and you can request one even if the person you care for does not receive help from social services.