No matter how old you are, you always rely on your parents. That’s why it can be so difficult when parents start aging, and can no longer live the independent lifestyle you’re used to seeing them live.
Caring for aging parents is a complicated task. As their child, you want to do everything possible to ensure they have the happiest and most comfortable lifestyle possible. But the day-to-day of caring for an elderly parent can quickly become overwhelming.
When you are spending so much of your time and energy caring for someone else, it is especially important that you practice self-care as well. If you feel stressed or like you are drowning in responsibility, you will suffer. You won’t be able to provide your parents with the quality care they deserve, and you want to give them.
Below, we’re sharing a few tips for what to do when overwhelmed. Read on!
1. Talk About It
If you are feeling overwhelmed by the responsibility of caring for elderly parents, you’re not alone. A lot of people keep their feelings to themselves because they feel guilty for being overwhelmed or don’t want their complaints to be misinterpreted as being ungrateful.
Give yourself a break. Caring for elderly parents is a difficult job, and it’s ok if you need to vent or complain from time to time. Seek trusted friends or family members to talk to about your feelings. If you feel more comfortable speaking to someone removed from the situation, seek out a qualified therapist instead.
2. Prepare For the Future
When you’re caring for an elderly parent, there are a lot of decisions that need to be made, both while they are still alive and as you prepare for their passing. Those decisions can be emotional and difficult, which is why it can be helpful to plan for the future before you’re in it.
For example, you should decide if you’ll be caring for elderly parents at home with the help of a caregiver before it reaches the point where they can no longer live independently. You can interview and secure a probate lawyer who will advise you on your parents’ will before they have passed.
Having those decisions made ahead of time will help you be less emotional and more practical about them.
3. Take a Day Off
When you were growing up, your parents probably got a babysitter every once in a while, so they could take some time off from taking care of you. Similarly, when you’re taking care of an aging parent, you deserve to take an occasional day off to focus on yourself.
Visit a spa, spend time with friends, or just curl up on the couch with a good book. Spend some time doing self-care, whatever that means to you. When you resume your care-taking responsibilities, you’ll feel refreshed.
Want More Ideas for What to Do When Overwhelmed?
Knowing what to do when overwhelmed by taking care of an aging parent is critical. Self-care can help prevent burnout, and help you appreciate the time you do have with your aging parents.
For more ideas on taking care of aging parents, please browse the Family section of our blog.