How to Care For Your Elderly Parents
There comes a time in most people’s lives when they suddenly realize that their parents are not able to do all the things that they once could. For many people, this realization can be an upsetting time. Especially seeing parents that were once so active, struggling with mobility issues and other health problems.
Once upon a time, your parents were the ones telling you what you should be doing and offering you guidance and support. Over time these roles can change.
You may find yourself in the position of caregiver to your parents rather than vice versa. Managing this change in dynamic can be truly hard.
Here are some tips on how to care for your elderly parents. Ones that should help you to navigate this change in your parent/child relationship.
Communication is a vital ingredient in all relationships. As your parent’s age, it is even more important to keep communicating.
If you live far away from your parents or don’t see them regularly, you may not be well-informed of the current state of their health. Often, older relatives don’t share their health concerns. This is because either they don’t want to be fussed over, or they simply don’t want to be a burden.
Try to keep in touch as regularly as you can. That way, you are kept informed of any health or wellbeing concerns. You can offer them help, care, and support as needed.
Remember to tread carefully when discussing your parent’s health, care, and wellbeing with them. Otherwise, you may find yourself in an argument with them. Be respectful of their opinions and choices too.
A good rule of thumb is to always remember to maintain their dignity as long as possible. In the same way that you’d want that.
Ask For Help When You Need It
Taking care of an elderly parent often brings a feeling of guilt. You may feel that you need to be doing more to take good care of them. Sometimes there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to make that possible.
Asking siblings or other close relatives to help out could be an excellent solution to help you manage. If your parent has a specific condition, such as Alzheimer’s, you may want to enlist some specialist Alzheimer’s care for them.
This will help you to know that they are getting the right level of help.
Bringing in additional help can protect your relationship with your parent. This is because you will be able to enjoy each other’s company more. This can prevent any resentment building up between you.
It is especially useful if your mom and dad aren’t comfortable with you caring for them.
Although it may be hard to do the things you did in the past, now is the time to enjoy your time together in a different way. If you have children of your own, take advantage. Make some lovely memories with their grandparents.
One that will last them a lifetime.
While things aren’t the same as they were, this is a time to appreciate each other and enjoy the time you spend together.
Above all, it’s good to remember to always have their dignity in mind.
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Listen to them and don’t always do what you think it’s best. Especially if they are still able to voice their opinion.
Love them, and enjoy every moment for time is fleeting.
Do you have any advice to share?
Let me know, til then–cheers m’deres!
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Nancy Polanco is a freelance journalist, lifestyle content creator, and editor of Whispered Inspirations. She is a proud Mom to Gabby and Michaela, and wife to Darasak. Having worked as part of a health care team for almost a decade, Nancy is happy to be back to her passion. She is a contributor to the Huffington Post, TODAY’s Parents, and an Oprah Magazine Brand Ambassador.