If you have parents who are getting older, leaving you feeling helpless about how to proceed, you’re not alone. Millions of Americans have to find ways to provide care for their senior parents without any previous experience or know-how.
It can be a lot easier to take on when the whole family gets involved in doing their part. However, if you’re an only child or the only one pitching in, it can be a lot for one person alone. It’s natural to worry about everything from their mental well-being to how they’ll feed themselves. After all, you have a day job and can’t do everything yourself.
Whether your aging parents are to the point of needing assistance around the clock or are just starting to show the signs of lack of independence, here are some of the best tips to help them through.
It’s a lot to ask someone to help you take care of an older parent. If there are no other family members around to assist, then you may be hesitant to ask friends. However, taking it all on alone isn’t going to do anyone any favors.
Try to get help wherever you can. Whether you ask a neighbor, family member, or even friends of your parents. You may be afraid that you’re inconveniencing someone, however, you’d be surprised how happy most people are to help.
Create a Long Term Plan
Unfortunately, people do not age in reverse. Things are only going to get more complicated as the months or years go by. It’s helpful to create a long term plan to prepare for things as they progress.
Making a plan in advance means that you won’t find yourself scrambling in a panic if something unexpected happens. If possible, make the plan with your parents so that they have a say in how they wish to be cared for.
Caring for aging parents can, in some ways, be even more stressful than caring for small children. Older people who have Alzheimer’s or serious medical problems can be a lot to handle. Caring for people with extremely high needs can start to take its toll on your mental well-being. It’s helpful to find support where you can. Talking to people who are going through the same thing can be helpful. You’ll feel less alone and even likely to find advice where you felt like you had nowhere to turn.
There are support groups available often in local community centers or churches, or if that’s not an option, you can always turn to online forums. People often create support groups online where you may not be physically in front of someone; however, the bond and support can be just as impactful.