Caring for an aging parent can be challenging and some of the time can make us a feel like we are losing it! It can be one of the most emotionally difficult experiences. Not only are we juggling our own lives, but now due to the aging process the people who once took care of us need help in caring for themselves.
When you start taking care of your parent, they give up the one thing they have always had in your relationship together, their authority. A person who may have been irritable can become enraged; someone who is impatient can now be demanding and impossible to please. In many instances the parent turns on the child that is trying their best to assist with their well being.
The aging process can bring on forgetfulness, frustration, sadness and depression, personality changes, hallucinations, personal hygiene issues, hoarding, OCD and demands that all of the your time and attention be spent on them. It’s no wonder we hear on a weekly basis “my mother is making me crazy!’
What are some things that you can do to cope on this caregiving journey?
Accept the fact that life has changed and changes are inevitable.
Try not to take things personally. Learn to recognize the cognitive dysfunction.
Many times our parents reserve their worst behavior for those they are closest to. Consider getting your parent involved in senior activities or adult day care, depending on their physical capabilities.
Always seek professional help. Therapy and medications can help with some of the aging symptoms and changes. Your parent could also be having a side-effect of a current mediation or the dose may need to be modified.
Redirection is a good technique to divert from something that is occurring that is unpleasant or inappropriate.
Reminiscing is always a good mood enhancer. Using long-term memory skills will most likely help your parent shift to a happier disposition.
When a parent becomes demanding for all of your time and attention this usually means they have become dependant on you for all of their physical and emotional needs. This is when you have to take steps to take care of yourself! Bring in outside help or contact the local Senior Services office in your area to find out what programs are available that can provide care assistance and companionship to your loved one. Churches and other charitable organizations are also a good reference source.
You hear this over and over so hear goes it one more time….don’t forget the “me” time! Having time to rejuvenate is critical to your overall health. Do all the things that bring you fun and pleasure and don’t feel guilty for the time spent away from caring for your parent. Your life still needs to have you in it!
If the challenges of family and career are making life overwhelming and difficult to care for a loved one in need of assistance, we can help. Today’s families have very busy lifestyles so many times family members want to help and in many cases try to help but generally it is only a matter of time before it all becomes overwhelming trying to juggle too many tasks at one time. For most just knowing that companies like ours are here when you need support and an extra set of caring hands make the process less stressful and smooth.
Should a loved one need help, call us today 770-442-8664!
Easy Living Services, Inc.
Providing Home Care to Atlanta families since 1994