Coping With An Aging Parent

We understand that you want to do anything and everything possible to take care of your aging parents. But one of the most important things to remember is something that is most often forgotten - you can't take of them if you don't take care of yourself and your responsibilities in your own home.

Be honest. With your parents about your limitations, and help them understand that if you are sharing their care with other family members, or even with health care professionals and caregivers from Family Bridges, it doesn't mean you don't want to take care of them yourself. Let them know they are a priority, but that you have other priorities as well. As they no doubt taught you - honesty is the best policy.

Be Open. Make sure your parents understand that you are there for them no matter what. Never let them feel that they are going to have to deal with issues on their own.

Be Educated. Learn everything possible about the areas that are going to impact your parents’ lives, as well as your own, in the years to come: legal matters, financial arrangements, health care providers, housing and social services, and medical matters.

Be Informed. Work with health care professionals who can help you sort out your parents’ problems and requirements. Physicians, social workers, and lawyers are all excellent resources to help you stay on top of the changing needs of your loved ones.

Be Honest. As much as you might want to, or as much as you might think you should, the truth is you can't do this alone. The physical and emotional demand of caring for ageing parents is too much for one person. Find family, friends and professionals who are willing to help, and let them.

Be Creative. Instead of taking away opportunities and responsibilities, find new ways for your loved ones to participate in things such as social activities and tasks. Above all, let them play a part in the decision making.

Be Respectful. Your parents needs to be in charge of their own lives for as long as they can. Keep this in mind in every decision you make, and in every conversation you have. Don't be afraid to seek counseling if necessary. This can be a difficult transition for everyone - don't make it worse by refusing to seek help.

Be Considerate. Don't make wholesale changes all at once. Take the smallest possible steps in changing the lives and routines of your loved ones, and help them maintain a sense of independence.

Back To Blog