The role reversal of caring for your parents after they spent so many years caring for you, can be a shock to the system of all involved. Some elderly people will not admit that they need help and this can make the situation even worse. Not everyone is suited to caring for others and if that is the case it is nothing to be ashamed of. You just have to admit it and make sure your elderly parents get the care they need in other ways.
Make Time For You
If you have found yourself in the position of being a carer for your elderly parents, you need to ensure that you are physically and mentally up to the task. Making time for yourself will help to make sure this happens, as everyone needs a break now and then. It could be that you have a family to look after too, and then taking on the responsibility of your parents just adds to the stresses of everyday life.
Ask other family members to give you a day off once a week, or book a short break away. If there is no family that can help, look into private companies that can take over the care while you have a few days away.
Consider Assisted Living
Assisted living could take the pressure off you while letting your parents keep some degree of independence. This can be important to elderly people and it is why many of them will fight against going into care homes.
With assisted living, they have their own space, but any care they need is provided on site. They are free to go to the shops if they want or to have visitors. Assisted living accommodation tends to be in areas with good facilities close by so that seeing the doctor or dentist is not a major trip out.
Care At Home
If your parent has dementia, for instance, it may well be getting to a point where they cannot be left on their own and putting them in a care home feels like the only option. That is not such a bad thing is that is the case, but sometimes care at home is available instead.
This involves professional carers being involved. It could be for just a few hours a week or 24 hours a day, depending on the needs of your parents. For some elderly people, this is the ideal solution. It means they get to stay in surroundings that are familiar to them and they make new friends with the carers. They are never lonely because someone is always there, and you can visit whenever you want, as it is still their home.
There can be tough decisions to make, as your parents get older, especially if their mind has been affected. When they can no longer decide matters for themselves, the onus could be on your shoulders as to the best way to ensure they are cared for. All you can do is look at the situation at the time and then if you are unsure, chat with the professionals who will be able to advise you on the best course of action to take.
Photo by Tiago Muraro