Juggling responsibilities while taking care of your elderly parents: 4 tips to help you keep it together.
In an ideal world, taking care of your parents should be a duty, and it shouldn’t feel like a chore. Unfortunately for us, we don’t live in an ideal world, and for some of us, it could be that final responsibility which tips the proverbial jug!
Of course, not every parent is in the same condition, so for some, it may not feel as pressurizing as it does for someone else. Irrespective of the situation though, it’s our responsibility as children to take care of our parents when they get old and can’t do so by themselves. Here’s how you can keep it together.
Engage the siblings
Call a family meeting and figure out a plan regarding how to best manage the situation. There are two alternatives here:
- Your parents can periodically stay with every sibling for some time throughout the year
- If you don’t want to move them around so much, just tell your siblings to come in and help when you are busy at work or with some other engagement
Moving your parents around too much will likely sadden them, as it will make them realize that they do not really have a home anymore. However, the second option is a better one and should give them a sense of home again.
If you do not want to ship your parent/parents off to an old age home, then you can make the help come to you. Hire geriatric caregivers on days that you need to, provided you do not have any siblings available to take up that responsibility of course. Now, practically, most trained caregivers with a license are usually going to be better caretakers than a sibling in most situations, but they can be costly to afford! Therefore, try to reserve their special attention only for special scenarios.
Give them some freedom
It’s easy to forget that while you might be distraught at the moment regarding the responsibility you are having to undertake, your parents are likely even more so because they feel helpless. Don’t show any negative emotions to your parents and try to give them some freedom, quite literally we mean!
If your parent or parents are partially disabled, but they have most of their cognitive skills intact, get them a foldable, power wheelchair and they will absolutely love the freedom to move around as they wish without assistance. Here are the six best options available right now, so check them out and choose something that you know will bring a smile on that wisened face. In case you are wondering, foldable power wheelchairs are ideal because they allow you to carry them around in your car and take your parents out for shopping, a stroll in the park, and the like.
Financial cost management
Taking care of old parents can be expensive, especially for those needing chronic treatment. If this is the responsibility you are worried about, then all siblings must chip in financially as well to support your parents. It’s only fair and you should insist on it, although you shouldn’t really have to, given that they all have the same responsibilities as you do! Aside from that, try to find out if your parents have insurance, assets, etc. that can be better invested to create a steady source of income that will let both your parents and your family live more affluently.
Although it may initially feel like an added burden, rather than an essential responsibility, with time and a little bit of tact, that perception may change. The tips we just shared should help you reach a state of mind where juggling so many responsibilities at once will likely not feel as overwhelming as before anymore.