Your Parents Cared For You, Now You Should Care For Them. Or Should You?
When you were a vulnerable, innocent child that needed caring for and protecting, who was there? Your parents were, of course. Now that they have started to age and are beginning to look a little older and frailer, you may be starting to think about what the future will hold, however scary doing so may be.
While you may naturally believe that you should offer to care for your parents yourself as they age, it’s important to consider what this actually means. The fact is that caring for a loved one can be seriously stressful and if other support isn’t in place, detrimental to your own health. It’s natural that you want to look after your ailing parents when the time comes, but it’s also important to think your decision through carefully.
To help you gain a better insight into what the decision to care for your parents as they age would mean, and advice for alternative routes to go down, we have put together a useful guide to determining what the best steps are to take in advance and at the time. Hopefully, this guide should inform and empower you to be able to make these kinds of difficult decisions more easily.
Talk to your parents
Although it might be a difficult subject to broach with your parents, it’s important that you do talk to them about the future. Obviously, you don’t want to upset them, but the fact of the matter is, in a short time period you may be required to provide your parents with care, so it helps to know what they want when that time comes.
While some people can’t stand the idea of their loved ones caring for them and feel that it strips them of their dignity, others feel that having strangers caring for them is far worse than having their loved ones caring for them. When it comes to old aged care, it’s often down to personal preference in regards to what route you choose to go down. That’s why talking to your parents about what they would like to happen when this time comes around is essential.
Explain to them that while you’re happy to care for them, you don’t want you becoming a carer to impact the relationship that you share with them. Talk to them about dignity and how they would like to be cared for and what type of care would allow them to feel like they still have their dignity.
Map out your options
When the time comes to start thinking about providing care for your elderly or unwell parents, it’s important to take the time to map out what your options are. It’s crucial to take a range of factors into account, including things like your work commitments, the financial cost, and also the practicalities of each option. You need to spend some time thinking about what your options are for ensuring that your parents receive the very best quality of care, to make sure that you choose the right option for them and you.
For instance, what you need to consider is the impact of caring for them yourself would have on you and your life. Could you continue with your career and being a carer for your parents – would these two roles co-exist beside each other? You need to think about the impact on your own children – how would you caring for their grandparents impact them? Would you miss out on quality time with them, for instance? There’s a lot that you need to consider when determining what route to go down.
Studies have shown that when it comes to caring for someone with dementia if their carer becomes stressed, it can impact the speed at which their dementia develops. That’s why it’s so important that when it comes to caring for a loved one, that you understand the potential implications that come with agreeing to do so. Caring for a loved one is a big task that comes with a lot of responsibility. It is also a task that can impact your own health and wellness, which is why so many people choose to seek support when it comes to caring for loved ones.
Understand there is support available
When it comes to caring for loved ones, it’s important to understand that there is plenty of support available. While you may feel like you want to deal with every aspect of your parent’s care yourself, the truth is that this kind of decision is not a responsible one. The reality is that no matter how much you want to be able to be there for your parents full-time, if you have a life of your own and a career, then this just isn’t going to be a possibility.
Remember, your parents deserve quality care, which is something that you won’t be able to provide if you stretch yourself too thin. What a lot of people choose to do is use a specialist care service, such as palliative care from Visiting Angels to ensure that their loved ones are receiving the very best quality of care. To provide your parents with care that they can count on, you don’t need to try and do everything yourself.
The fact is that caring for your ageing parents isn’t about pushing yourself so hard that you crack, it’s about thinking realistically about what your parents need and finding a practical way to provide them with that support.
As a child, you can never imagine your parents growing old or weak, but sadly as time goes by this is exactly what happens. Aging is a natural part of life and something that we need to get used to because one day we too will age, just like our grandparents and parents have done. What’s important in old age is the fact that you receive the very best level of care, and the same goes for your parents – quality of care is everything when it comes to aging.