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.
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.