How to Take Care of an Elderly Parent

When a parent falls ill or is diagnosed with a condition, it’s a natural reaction to want to do everything within your power to protect them. You may suddenly feel like you did when your children were young and want to wrap your parent up in cotton wool. However, it’s important to remember that your parent is an adult and that adult will want to hold on to independence for as long as possible. Instead of doing things for a parent who is still mobile, help them to do it for themselves.

Set Boundaries

It’s difficult to set limits when your parent is in need. You’ll want to be available 24/7, but that’s impossible. Family carers can quickly burn themselves out if they aren’t careful. To ensure you don’t overwork yourself, you need to establish what your parents needs are. Do you need to do the grocery shopping? Do you need to be there in the morning to help your father down the stairs? As soon as you know what needs to be done, you can create a plan that suits you both.

Ask for Help

There are times when a person’s needs are so great; one caregiver isn’t enough. If your parent requires around the clock attention, you won’t be able to do it alone. Ask other family members to help so you can divide tasks into shifts. If family members are unable to help, you may want to consider hiring a carer to visit or moving your parent into a caring home. You can read more about caring homes here. Remember, you aren’t letting your parent down by asking for help; you’re providing the best care possible.

Do Your Research

If your parent is diagnosed with a condition, like Alzheimer’s, it can help if you’re equipped with the latest information. Doing some research on the health could help you to understand what your parent is going through and how you can help. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the pressure of what your parent is going through, it can help to talk to someone. Sharing thoughts with someone who’s going through the same thing can be a big relief.

Don’t Punish Yourself

Watching a loved one struggle is one of the hardest things you can go through. If your parent takes a turn for the worse or an accident happens when you’re not there, don’t punish yourself. You’re doing the best you can and, when you need it, there is support available so make sure you seek it out.

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