Coping with aging parents is by no means easy. Not only do you need to care for parents who once cared for you (or who didn’t care for you, in unique circumstances), you’ll be coming to terms with things changing. You’re also getting older, and you may start thinking about what will happen when you are their age and your kids need to care for you. It can give you more questions than answers, along with a lot of anxiety that you simply don’t need when you’re trying to care for your family. With that in mind, here’s how to handle it when you’re struggling to cope with aging parents:
- Find Professional Help
Start by looking for professional help if you feel that your aging parent needs it. You may be able to find a service that will visit the home once or twice a day to make food and help your parent with other things. In different circumstances, it may be necessary to find a care home for them to ensure they get the round the clock attention that they need. Just be sure you read reviews and ask for recommendations before making up your mind. Although it isn’t the nicest thing to think about, elder abuse does happen. The Elder Justice Act (EJA) is a federal statute that you should look into if you’re concerned and want to know more.
- Prepare Yourself
You don’t want to live in a constant state of anxiety, but you should prepare yourself for the various milestones to come. If your parent has dementia, there will likely come a time where they aren’t compos mentis for very long. Don’t avoid these conversations or thoughts and make sure you know what you’re going to do should they come sooner than you think.
- Ask Other Family Members For Help
Don’t try to take on the burden of caring for your parent all alone. If you have siblings, or anybody else with the capacity to help you, make sure you ask them. You can share the burden and try to split your time so you have more time to yourself.
- Try To Keep Your Emotions In Check
It can be easy to get frustrated with an aging parent. However, it’s important to remember that no matter how old you are, they are still going to see you as their child. They probably won’t change much in age either – if they are bossy or controlling, they will probably remain that way. To avoid the argument it’s often better to steer the conversation elsewhere rather than get emotional and lose your temper with them. It’s especially important to keep things in check if they have dementia or a similar ailment.
- Care For Yourself
Self care is key when you are struggling. Make sure you prioritize your own care.
- Join A Support Group
A support group could introduce you to people in similar situations. Don’t underestimate the power of a problem shared.
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