Since you were born, you will have always looked up to your parents as the caregivers in your life, the main people who shaped you into who you are. As they get older, however, this dynamic can often be flipped on its head. As the needs of your parents grow with their age, the responsibility of being a caregiver may initially fall onto your shoulders. This can sometimes put a strain on your relationship with your parents, and it can be difficult to cope with, but it doesn’t have to be.
To help you out, this handy guide is going to give you some ways of coping that are practical and will make a real difference.
What to do in the beginning
When your parents first start to show signs of aging, they may begin to have little difficulties with their mobility, hygiene, and/or communication. At this stage, learning how you can take care of your elderly parents means learning how to keep them independent and in their own home.
The issue of mobility can be solved with walkers, stair lifts, and home delivery shopping. Hygiene can be helped by getting them a wet room or sit in bath. Communication can be improved by taking the time visit them and sit with them so that their needs are heard, and they have some company.
Talking things through isn’t always easy (but is needed)
As their age progresses, the issues your parents will face will naturally progress with them and, when this happens, you need to be ready to tell them you cannot be their primary caregiver anymore and find an alternative.
You can find some helpful information on senior care at inhomecare.com with a guide on how to have tough conversations with a loved one.
As their level of senior care rises, one great idea is to look into getting a professional caregiver into their home on a regular basis, which you can also find easily online. This is a fantastic way of taking the responsibility away from you without having to move your parents into a care home, so they can keep their independence.
Keep them close
When trying to care for your parents, it can be very easy to lose the closeness and bond you share with them, despite seeing them on a more regular basis. This is because taking care of someone becomes hard work and you need to find tips on how to stay connected to your parents which a.) allow you to have some distance, and b.) allows you and your parents to have some fun.
In terms of keeping some distance, try to swap visiting every day with having a phone call so that you can still be in contact and catch up without having to go over and do lots of housework.
You can still book in visits and plan excursions such as meals out, or trips to the shops or to local parks, and this can be time to truly enjoy each other’s company.