We all age, whether we like it or not it's all part of life. With that may come a time where you find yourself caring for an elderly parent or relative. Caring for parents can put a huge strain on families, particularly those who may also be looking after young children. Here are some tips to help you stay sane.
1. Take time out for yourself
It's so easy to get caught up in caring for your ageing parent more than you should, of course its natural you want to do everything possible to help them be comfortable. But you will do neither yourself nor them any good if you fail to take time out for yourself. Make time to rejuvenate yourself part of your care routine for your parent. Go our for a walk and get some fresh air, make sure you eat right and spend time with the rest of your family too.
Taking care of an elderly parenting isn't a sprint, don't rush it. Think of it more like a long marathon. Take it slowly. Both of you are in uncharted territory and don't know what is around the corner. Most of all enjoy each others company and let whatever happen unfold on it's own. Let the process reveal itself to you and expect the unexpected.
3. Make adjustments
Whether they'll be staying at their own house of moving in with you it's a good idea to meet their requirements, what ever they may be. You may need to make adjustments to the bathroom or install a stair lift. It may be worth checking out Premier Bathrooms who specialise in assisted bathing products if you need to create easy access to a shower or bath.
4. It's okay to ask for help
Don't struggle alone, it's okay to ask others for help. Whether it be another family member or friend or professional help. Your parent will understand if you can't cope or care for them on your own. You just want what's best for them, but often that mean's doing what's best. If you can't get help, talk to a friend, go out for coffee or even talk on the phone. Sharing what you're going through with something who isn't immediately involved with it can help and give you some invaluable advice.
5. Prepare for sibling arguments
We all want whats best for our parents, so of course your siblings do too. Expect the worst from your siblings, many families end up arguing for understandable reasons when their parents start to die. Whether it be money, possessions, childhood mementos, the will. Prepare for there to be rivalry, but don't participate in it after all no amount of money is worth your dignity and your parent wouldn't want to see you all arguing over something so silly.
Do you have any tips to share when caring for an elderly parent?