If you are an only child caring for elderly parents, you know it can be a handful. In this case. you may feel the stresses of care giving are all on you. It may even start to define your livelihood. As much as you love your parents and know they deserve the best care possible, it is okay, and will be better for all, if you continue to have a life too and feel comfortable delegating others to help. Here are a few tips to consider.
- Don’t be afraid to ask other relatives for help. Many times, other family members and friends are ready to step in when needed. This may require you
to ask for help since they may not want to feel as if they’re imposing. Even if it’s a simple drive to the grocery store once a week.
- Understand your parent and seek professional help. If your parent is suffering from Alzheimer’s or other age related diseases, it would be in their best interest to spend time with those experienced in the issue.
- Dive into their financial needs. The relationship between you and your parents will be at advantage if you speak of financial needs. Understand how much your parents’ need to continue medical care and every day living and how much they need your help in budgeting. If this amount is greater than you are comfortable with, seek out a trusted financial advisor.
- Maintain safety measures for your parents. It is a good idea to make sure their home is built and set up for aging parents. You may not feel like you have to be there all the time, if you know they are in a safe spot. Have someone, or if you’re handy, do it yourself, go through the house fixing any areas that could cause falls or any type of injury. If your parents are unfit to live alone, find a reputable assisted living center in your area.
- Don’t feel guilty. Easier said than done, but guilt is an emotion that is not beneficial to you or your aging parents. Do everyone a favor and channel your emotional energies into something more productive. You are only one person!
Continuing a positive relationship with your parents will only help them through the aging process. If your caretaking responsibilities add stress to this relationship, it will only hurt all involved. It is important to make sure your parents receive proper care but to also be okay with letting go and getting help when needed.