5 Tips For Caring For Your Live-In Parents As They Age
Our parents loved us and cared for us while we were growing up. Now it’s our turn to take care of our aging parents. You want to keep your parent at home and out of a care facility for as long as possible. It’s great to have the grandparents around to share stories with the kids, and it also saves money on hefty facility costs. Here are five tips for caring for your live-in parents as they age:
- Realize the Amount of Care Needed: Caring for an aging parent isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s lots of work, and it demands a lot of time. In a way, the parent becomes the child. There will be doctor visits, meals to be prepared, assistance with daily tasks, and you’ll need to keep a watchful eye out for them. You don’t want to strip them of their respect, but at the same time, recognize that they aren’t the same as they once were. You don’t want to harm the relationship by treating your parent with disrespect in their later years. Have patience, and know how to walk away when you can’t do it.
- Ask For Help: Reach out to others for help. Have your SO help out where they can, ask the kids to help in little ways, and use the aid of professionals when it’s needed. You want to keep the care within the family as long as you can because of the financial strain that it can put on a family, but there are times where having a professional help out is worth the cost. There’s a lot of cleaning that a professional service can do, which will give you the time spend with your parent.
- Know Your Limits: Everyone has a working capacity, and it may change from day to day. Know the signs of reaching your own limits. If you have a hard time managing your stress, then it will start to bleed over into other areas, making everything more difficult. Ask for help before you reach your limit. Understand that one person can’t do it all, and it’s not a failure on your part if you have to say “no” occasionally.
- Adult Day-Care Program: Find reputable adult centers in your area that your parent is willing to join. They do fun activities as a group depending on how independent the senior is. Your parent could do something more independent such as visit a museum, or they would do something at a facility if they need more personalized care.
- Use Government Programs that Help Pay for Caregiving: The US government recognizes that caregiving can be a major strain on the family, which is why there are organizations in place to help. Apply for the financial, medical, and personal assistance that is available to you.
Aging and inevitably losing some independence is a tough transition for you and for your parent. You don’t want to see their memory slipping, and they don’t want to become a burden. Have patience with each other, and remember how much you both love each other.