Caring for your aging parents provides its own challenges and even rewards at times. You are able to give back and in many ways deepen your relationship with your parents. At the same time, you may find yourself frustrated and at your wits’ end, dealing with resistance, health issues, financial responsibility and more. Sometimes, you just need a break.
If you are a full-time caregiver, it can be hard to step back sometimes and admit that you need a break. You may feel guilty for admitting that you are just too frustrated or tired to deal with things. But by not allowing yourself time to rest, recharge or do something nice for yourself, you aren’t doing your parent any favors.
It can also be difficult to see that your parents have become physically disabled or unable to care for themselves. If your normally active parent now needs the help of a cane to get around, or has to have help dressing, it can take an emotional toll. It is always good to have someone to talk to about your feelings.
On a daily basis, make sure that you are taking care of yourself, too. Get enough rest, eat healthy food, exercise and talk to friends.
Dealing With Resistant Parents
While it may be challenging to play the role of caregiver to your aging parent, it can feel downright impossible when the parent is resistant to help. It can be difficult for a person to accept that they are no longer capable of living safely on their own, or driving a car.
Sometimes it helps to ask the right questions. Try to do this when you are both relaxed, and keep it simple. Asking the questions is as much for their benefit as yours, because it gets them thinking about their situation. Do they have mobility issues? Do they use a cane or a walker to get around? Is their home set up to accommodate these aids? Do they have difficulty driving? You can find a list of questions on aarp.com that you can start with.
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