Aging Parents and your Role Reversal Challenge.
The day has finally arrived when the roles you thought would never reverse have done just that. You find yourself making decisions not just for yourself, but also for your aging parent. Balancing your own life, family, significant other, and career while ensuring that your parent receives the best care possible without disrupting your life can be overwhelming. It’s not just about the weekly visits or daily phone calls anymore; your parent needs real care.
Caring for an elderly parent involves ensuring they eat well, take their medication, and manage their finances responsibly. You may have siblings who disagree with placing your parent in an assisted living or nursing facility, yet refuse to lend a helping hand. How can you handle this situation without alienating your family members?
First and foremost, understand that this is not about you. It’s not about what you think is right or wrong, or holding onto the person your parent used to be. Your parent is now an elderly person who requires constant care and attention. This situation will require you to grow up and take on more responsibilities, whether you’re ready or not.
Begin by scheduling an appointment with your parent’s doctor to discuss their declining health. Check if the hospital has an elder care group or if the medical coverage includes elder sourcing. Through these resources, you can determine the best living arrangement and care plan for your parent’s current status. Keep inquiring until you find the best solution for everyone.
Your parent may only require an aide to visit once or twice a day to assist with bathing, dressing, meals, and medication. However, their health may require more attention, and the visiting nurse or doctor’s office can provide further assistance. The word to keep in mind is safety, which should be a top priority. If the safety of your parent is not up to the necessary level, continue advocating until you receive the required help.
It may take some time to discover all the available resources for your parent’s care, but it will be worthwhile in the long run. It’s best to discuss with your parent their health and medical, financial, and personal situations before the need for care arises.
When your parent is older, the best thing you can provide them is your time. Spend quality time with them instead of being stressed out all the time. Invite them over for a day and dinner instead of pawning them off on someone else. Resentment builds if you shoulder this burden alone, and there are many excellent care facilities available to assist you.
In conclusion, safety and honesty are the keys to making your parent’s later years a positive memory.