Caring For Elderly Parents
4 Tips to Make Living With Older Parents a Little Less Stressful
One of the biggest issues with caring for elderly parents is the associated stress. Whether they’re suffering from dementia or a debilitating leg injury, it’ll feel bittersweet because the roles have reserved.
In the past, your parents took care of you and now in their later years, you’re having to look after them as best you can. It can bring a tear to anyone’s eye, and while it’s important to do your best for your parents, you also need to worry about your own health during this difficult time.
To give you a hand and reduce the stress, here are four tips to help you cope with caring for elderly parents.
1. Know your Limits
Everyone has both physical and mental limits. If you push yourself too hard for your parents, you’ll end up with bad health, stress, and frustration. Don’t try to do things that you aren’t capable of. If you have trouble helping your parents wash or if you struggle with cooking, then don’t be afraid to learn new skills or ask for a bit of help. It’s important to also understand your mental limitations. For instance, there’s not a single human on earth that could cope with the overwhelming stress of caring for elderly parents while looking after their own family and working a 9 to 5 job. Take breaks when needed, understand that you have limits, and never beat yourself up because you can’t do more.
2. Think About Yourself Sometimes
We all want to be the best we can for our parents, but you also need to think about yourself sometimes. Remember to take breaks and ask your partner, other family members or even your children to look after your elderly parents when you’re away. If they still have autonomy, then don’t strip that away from them and let them be independent. Not only does it help with their own mental state, it also gives you time to break away and relax in order to destress yourself from it all.
3. Keep an Emergency Numbers List Handy
Whether it’s a bookmark to locate a walk-in clinic or phone numbers to other family members, make sure you keep an emergency numbers list handy. If your parents are suffering some issues, then call a doctor immediately, phone the nearest taxi service to take them to a hospital, and also notify important family members. The quicker you do this, the more time the doctors and relatives have to react.
4. Brace for the Inevitable
It’s unpleasant to talk about this, but it has to be said because it’s part of accepting the gravity of the situation. Everyone grows old at some stage in their life, and everyone needs to pass away. Accepting that your parents are at the end of their life is a bitter moment to cope with, but it’s also something that is inevitable.
Spend as much time as you can with your parents, give them the love they deserve and treat them with the respect and the care that they gave you when they raised you. Once you realize this inevitable situation, you’ll find the strength and motivation to beat away the stress of taking care of elderly parents home.
Thanks a lot for reading
Don’t forget to take good care of yourself, too!
All timely as my husband and I recently moved in with my 97-year-old mother. I would suggest also the ability to have patience.
Hi Jennifer, oh yes, patience is probably the most important thing. I used to care for my dad in law when he was over 90 already, I know what it means. But thinking back to the moments, when he’s made my blood boil, I wish , we still could have some of those moments 🙁 God knows, what we’re going to be like IF we get to their age at all. Thanks a lot for coming over, I much appreciate that!