When we are kids, our parents look after us and make sure we have everything we need from food on the table to love and guidance. As we get older and so do they, there can come a point where the roles are almost reversed – the child becomes the caregiver. But this can be a very difficult position, especially if your ageing parents have medical conditions or are suffering from things like dementia. So what tips are there to help you cope with ageing parents and not find your life dominated by it?
Know your limits
There’s a good chance that you have more going on that just caring for an ageing parent. You may have kids of your own, a job, other responsibilities and this can all put a huge amount of stress and pressure on you. One of the best tips from people who have done this is to know your limits and get help when you are reaching them.
Specialists such as https://carepilot.com.au/ can offer support and assistance for you that still allows your parents to live in their own home or with you but helps you manage whatever conditions they may have while still keeping your own sanity.
Don’t be too hard on yourself
If you need to get help, have someone come in to assist or even put your parent into respite care while you have a break, don’t be too hard on yourself for this. If you are exhausted and unable to care for them, this can be dangerous for everyone. Better to get some help to ensure you are able to do the important stuff without putting yourself in a position where you can’t do anything.
Also, don’t be too hard on yourself if something goes a bit wrong. You need to give yourself credit for what you are doing because not everyone can do it. If you don’t appreciate your own efforts, then no-one else will.
Understand their condition
Whether they have diabetes, a heart condition or dementia, it is important to understand it and how it affects them, physically and mentally. For example, there’s no point expecting thanks, praise or recognition from someone with dementia because there’s a good chance they have no idea what you are doing. And if you are the one that stops a diabetic eating the entire cream cake, don’t expect them to thank you for preventing a diabetic coma – they just think you are being mean. So, understand their condition and this can help you better understand and deal with them.