Every child has the responsibility of looking after our aging parents when the time comes that they cannot look after themselves anymore. Growing up, our parents took care of us, nurtured us and supported us financially and emotionally. Now it’s our time to give back and show them how thankful we are for all the hardships that they went through for us. However, like raising children, caring for an aging parent can be stressful too; especially if you also have your own children, a job and other responsibilities to attend to.
To make things stress-free as possible, here are my 5 tips to help you care for your aging parents with ease.
1. Do your research.
Eldercare isn’t an easy task. Most aging individuals have specific medical and safety concerns that us, children should support. So before anything else, make your research with the help of the internet, your friend’s or relative’s experiences or from self-help and guidebooks like this one from Virginia Morris, the go-to person on eldercare for the media. Here, you can actually read about home care, finances, nursing homes/hospitals, legal issues, psychosocial/medical/safety concerns and even spiritual needs.
2. Make a financial plan.
One of the main causes of stress when taking care for an aging parent is the financial challenges. Once you have done your research and have determined his/her needs, start making a financial plan. Check all the resources and the monthly expenses and make a budget. Also look for ways on how you can cut costs like low-cost public benefits or check what your parent’s insurance covers.
3. Seek help from others.
Don’t do it alone. Everything is much easier when you have help from your siblings or even professional help when your parent’s needs require it. Having people to share the responsibilities with can also give you more time for yourself and for your own family.
4. Manage your stress.
Don’t get too caught up with all these changes and responsibilities. Make sure that you also give yourself a break from time to time and get adequate sleep and rest, as well us maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.
5. Treat them with respect.
Last but not the least, not because you are now caring for them means that you are superior to them. They are still your parents and you should always treat them with respect, no matter how hard things can be. Talk to them about how you feel when things get rough and maintain an honest and open-relationship. Keep in mind that as hard as it is for you, it’s even harder for them. No parent would want to burden their children and as children, never make your parents feel that they are a burden for you.