How to Help Aging ParentsIn a world where baby-boomers are reaching retirement age, and people are living longer, we are seeing more and more situations of role reversals. The children of aging parents are becoming the caretakers. The mother is now the ‘child’ and the daughter is now a ‘mother.’
In many families, this can put a stress on the time and energy left for one’s own family. But there are ways to reorganize your life, and ways to help your parents and still maintain your own life.
FINDING THE TIME
The time you devote to your aging relative depends on their situation. Some may be in a nursing home, some may be in assisted living, others are still in their own home, but unable to care for daily tasks such as cooking meals or maintaining the yard.
The first thing you will need to do is make a list of everything that needs to be done for the elder. If he/she is on his own home, then the tasks are much the same as those in your house. If they are living with you, there are still tasks, such as doctor visits or laundry, that will need to be done in addition to your own. Even if they are living in a nursing home, there are still some things you will be responsible for.
As the primary caregiver, you will need to know all the personal information necessary to care for that person. You will also need to know this in case of an emergency. Make a list of the following and keep it handy:
ORGANIZATIONS/BUSINESSES TO HELP YOU
You can get so involved in caring for an elder person, that you may lose touch with your own family. Always remember to take care of yourself also. If you aren’t healthy or emotionally balanced, everyone around you will feel the effects.
No one wants to be suddenly thrust into the position of caregiver. But life doesn’t always go as planned, so it is better to be prepared, than to have to take care of all this in an emergency. The better prepared you are, the easier the tasks will be, and the more free time you will have for yourself.