Have you been caring for an aging parent? Maybe they’ve moved into the family home, or you’re helping them in their home. Whatever the arrangement, it’s inevitable that the caring will take its toll. Admitting that you’re struggling can be hard, but it’s important. Caring for your parent when you don’t feel able will lead to short tempers and damaged relationships. Not to mention that your parent won’t be receiving the care they need! Consider following these tips if things are getting on top of you.
WHAT IMPROVEMENTS CAN YOU MAKE?
Before giving up, take a little time to think about what improvements you can make. Is there anything you could buy that would help? If your parent is struggling with mobility, could they get a mobility scooter or chairlift, instead of relying on you? Do you have siblings who could help share the responsibility? Taking the pressure off in these ways will make a huge difference to the way you approach the situation.
TALK THINGS THROUGH
You may not want to broach the subject with the parent in question, but it’s important you do. If your parent is living in your family home, you might want to invite everyone involved. Even so, it’s important you parent doesn’t feel as though you’re ganging up. It may be worth having a one on one chat to start with. Find a tactful way to express your concerns. Make sure you state that you’re concerned about not being able to give the right care. Once you’ve started the conversation, you might find your parent agrees or has worries of their own. Make sure to use tactful language throughout the conversation. Tempers may be frayed by this stage. Even so, the situation is difficult for everyone, and accusation won’t help. Be respectful to each other’s feelings. After you make a point, ask your parent how they feel about that.
CONSIDER THE OPTIONS
If speaking things through hasn’t helped, it might be time to consider other options. This may not be pleasant, but it is necessary. Start researching the options open to you. That’s not to say you have to turn straight to nursing homes. Consider whether your parent would be happy to accept professional help at home. Having a carer visit one or two times a week will take pressure off you. It’ll also ensure your parent is getting the level of care they need. If the problem is more serious than that, it might be time to find a senior living facility near you. Be sensitive with this, and include your parent in every aspect of the search.
Conversations like these are never going to be easy. Even so, there comes a time when you can’t avoid them. Once you’ve reached a conclusion, you’ll both feel much better. The strain will lift from your relationship, and you’ll feel able to look forward. There’s no denying that the road ahead might be a hard one. Even so, it’s a journey you can take together.