If you’ve reached that season of life where your parent has begun to age, then you’re likely filled with a lot of question, and fears. When a parent ages, after a while they cease to be able to care for themselves at home. That means that you, as their child, need to find a way to keep them cared for. If the idea seems overwhelming and discouraging, take heart. Many others have gone before you and successfully navigated this complex time. As you begin to find care for mom or dad, remember a few things on your journey.
Don’t Take All the Responsibility
When a parent ages, and it’s time to find them care, it can be hard to not feel completely responsible for them. One person can’t, however, be totally responsible for an aging parent–unless they had nothing else going on in their life. Your life was full before this new challenge came along, and it’s important to remember to share this burden with others, rather than taking all of it on yourself. This can be a time that leaves you feeling guilty, especially if your relationship with your parent is strained. It’s important to not let guilt cloud your decisions. Do what’s best for your parent, but also what’s best for you and your family. If you have siblings, find ways to shoulder the responsibility together. Even if you’re an only child, you can hire caregivers or even ask friends to volunteer with a few of the easier tasks. Caring for an aging parent is a hard time, but it doesn’t have to be handled alone.
You Have Options
Remember, as you try to find a solution for your parent, that you have more than one option. If your relationship with your parent is a good one, you can consider taking care of them at home, since you can often get paid for doing so. If it would be best for both of you to have a little distance, then you can consider hiring an in-home nurse, or finding the right assisted living facility in Fenton, MI to Houston, TX–remember that there are always options.
Take Care of Yourself
While so much of your focus will be on your parent, it’s important to focus on yourself during this time as well. You’ll likely experience some severe emotions, and added stress. Rather than letting either of those get the better of you, take extra care of yourself during this season, since you’re under extra pressure. Talk regularly with friends about what you’re going through. If you discover unresolved tension between you and your parent, talk to a therapist about it. Take “you” time regularly, and do nice things for yourself throughout this entire season. One of the hardest things about caring for an aging parent is feeling like you have no more time left for you. Don’t let that be the case–give love both to your parent, and to yourself! Together, you can get through this season as smoothly as possible.
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