words Al Woods
There comes a time in life where we have to stop putting ourselves first, there are of course occasions where being selfish is essential but learning that one of our purposes is to enable others to live their life well is an important one.
When it comes to your parents you should always have some sort of mutual care between you, they spent the first 18 years of your life making sure you were ok so at some point the time will come to give back. That’s what we look at in this article, how to take care of your aging parents.
One of the most important things to think about during the beginnings of caring for your aging parents is to involve them in every decision making process. All too often the decisions are made by the children and it’s not what they want, after all, you’re not the one that is going to be receiving care. Talk to them about your ideas of how you are going to care and see what they think and understand what they want. There’s no point in doing things if it’s not actually going to help them. Showing you are listening to them will help with the transition into care as they will feel much more relaxed about the situation.
Understand Health Problems
Something that most of us aren’t trained to do is to understand any health problem that may arise with aging people and how to treat them. Being able to see the warning signs and have the ability to deal with it in the early stages of disease could help your parents live a longer, much happier life. Thus, we should inform ourselves if we wish to be good caregivers to our parents, and this great resource might be a good place to start with. Remember though, if you aren’t a doctor, any large concerns might be best to address with a trained medical professional.
Things become difficult in old age, from moving around to processing information quickly. The worst thing you can do whilst caring for someone is to get frustrated and impatient with them, it’s not going to help the situation and it will most probably make it worse. You have to be able to make the person you’re caring for feel as relaxed as possible, patience is one of the best ways you can do this.
Think About Your Own Needs
It’s all well and good looking after your parents if you are able to, but you also need to take yourself into consideration. Be realistic with what you can give and what you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle for yourself. If that means that you can care for 3 days a week and hire someone for the other two then do so, overstretching yourself will be damaging to your own health, your parent’s health, and your relationship with them. Assess the needs of everyone around and you’ll be much better off in the long run.
Understand The Finance
Caring for anyone is going to cost money, especially if you’re looking after your parents full time. This means you can’t work a 9-5 job and be paid for it. Take a look into the finances before doing anything so you can estimate and plan how much things are going to cost and how much money you will need to live. Your parents might have money in a bank for this eventuality but if they don’t you should do some research into how you might fund your life for the following years to come.
Something people are often bad with is communication, however, it’s something that’s so fundamentally important to our lives we should really take it more seriously. When it comes to caring for someone, being able to communicate properly is essential so you can let them know everything that’s going on. As we know the ultimate goal is to make your parents comfortable and relaxed in their environment so understanding everything that’s happening around them will ensure this is the case.
Have A Transition Plan
Life has a habit of throwing things at us when we least expect it, and for that reason alone we should have somewhat of a contingency plan. Not that anything is going to go wrong but you should have a plan where you can transition from caring by yourself to getting someone else in or moving to a care home. Things like these are scary and should be carefully discussed with your parents, but there might come a time where living in a care home where 24-hour care is available will be the best move for everyone involved.
Caring for your parents is the best way to give back when they’ve reached a certain age, they never stop caring for you so it’s only right you give a little back. There are plenty of resources online that will help you with what needs to be done and remember to listen to your parents, they have always known what’s best so why would it stop now?