Five Tips for Dealing with Difficult Aging Parents


Dealing with parents as they age can be tough; but, being a caregiver to a parent who behaves difficultly will ratchet up the stress-level even higher. So how can you deal with difficult, aging parents?

Put Yourself First Sometimes

Sometimes, you must take care of yourself before taking care of your parents. It’s easy to lose yourself in the rigors of caregiving, but you and your own family needs to take priority.

Know Your Limits

If you take on caregiving knowing you lack the patience for it, or you just try to take on too much, you’ll do nobody any good and you may even do some harm.

Don’t Be Unrealistic

Be realistic about your parents and what they’re capable of doing, so you don’t end up hurt and angry. For example, seeking praise from a parent with dementia for all of your loving assistance is unlikely to happen.

Love Yourself For Trying

Your efforts may not always succeed, or even be noticed, but you do get to give yourself kudos for trying.

Take Breaks

If it has been awhile since your last vacation or you just want to catch a show, it’s okay to put your wants and needs first. If you are leaving for an extended period, you can try hiring a home healthcare aide to watch over them, or perhaps you have a sibling or trusted friend that could fill in for you; whatever you do, you should always remember that it is okay to provide yourself with a little break.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

Caregiving calls for constant attention.  It’s difficult to take a day off for yourself, but it is so important to do so. Taking care of yourself will help you better take care of someone else. There are great resources that are available to caregivers in the community and our office has a great list of referrals that we can share.  Contact us today.

Author Bio

Catherine Hammond is the CEO and founder of Hammond Law Group, a Colorado-based estate planning law firm she founded in 2005. With a strong focus on protecting families from the legal consequences of disability and death, she creates comprehensive estate plans that minimize taxes, costs, and government interference.

A native of Denver, Catherine completed her undergraduate studies at Coe College in Iowa, and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Denver College of Law in 1993, concentrating on estate planning, tax, and mediation. Catherine is a member of various professional organizations, including WealthCounsel, ElderCounsel, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the Colorado Springs Estate Planning Council, and the Purposeful Planning Institute. Beyond her legal expertise, Catherine provides transformational coaching to support clients and their families through life transitions.

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