If you ever find yourself in the position of having to care for your elderly parents, then you’ll soon discover that it is not a particularly easy task. That being said, when the roles were reversed and they were the ones tending to your needs as you grew up, they did everything they could to ensure you had a happy and fruitful development — this means that, whether you find it to be a difficult job or not, you owe it to your parents to be there for and to care for them when they need you the most. True, it’s a tough task, but your load will be lightened if you resolve to put the advice found below into practice.
Work out a plan that is fair on everybody involved
Fairness is key in the sometimes extremely demanding situation of caring for elderly parents, and this means making sure everybody is treated fairly.
You should be fair on your parents by never treating them like they are a burden and by trying to alter their home to suit their needs before considering care homes for them; you should make sure everybody involved in the situation is fairly pulling their weight, meaning your other siblings and close relatives should be doing their bit just like you are; and you need to be treated fairly, too. In regards to the latter, your parents need to be helping you by accepting that they might need to embrace certain things, regardless of whether this upsets or embarrasses them, in order to make your job of caring for them easier. For instance, if your parents suffer from incontinence then, regardless of how it makes them feel, they need to be easing your burden by accepting that they do need to start using incontinence supplies and incontinence products, such as adult diapers.
Remember to take some time for yourself
Your demanding role as a carer for your elderly parent coupled with the fact that you have your own life, family and work to be tending to means you are likely to feel very fatigued most of the time. To fight this, you need to be taking time for yourself. If this means arranging another form of care for your parents for a weekend so that you can escape on a getaway, then do it. Importantly, don’t feel bad when you do!
Seeking help is not a weakness
It’s important to try and provide your elderly parents with as much care as possible, but, as an unprofessional carer, your load will not be light. If it is just too much for you to take on and your own health has been impacted by all the stress, then seek help. Doing so is not a sign of weakness and it is not you giving up on your parents, it is just you doing what is best for yourself and ultimately your parents as well, as you can tend to them if you aren’t feeling right in yourself.
If they are lucky enough to reach old age, and you are lucky enough to see them reach it, then, chances are, you will have to care for your elderly parents in some form or another. If you want to make this task easier, remember to follow the advice above.
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Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post.