ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How Do You Care for an Aging Parent Without Losing Yourself in the Process?

Updated on February 25, 2013
Source

Making the decision to take care of an elderly parent is a no-brainer for a lot of people. Your parents sacrificed and took care of you. Of course you'll be there when they need it most.

For other people, it's not that easy. There are a lot of factors that come into play when deciding what to do with Mom or Dad. A spouse, children, location, money, medical needs, etc. can help or hinder the decision making process. Many people end up deciding to put Mom or Dad in a retirement or nursing facility, because it's what is best for everyone.

This article is for those people who have decided to provide care to their parent(s) themselves. Here are some tips for being the best caregiver you can be, without losing your mind.

A Balancing Act

If you are a parent yourself, you need to make sure your children stay a priority. You can take care of Mom and/or Dad and still make time for your kids. If you put caring for your parent before your own children, they will likely resent Grandma or Grandpa.

Your spouse needs to stay a priority as well. If your are blessed enough to have a spouse who supports you caring for your parents, then make sure they know they're appreciated and important.

It's a balancing act, for sure. If you try to be everything to everyone all the time, you will lose your mind. Here are some tips for keeping that balance.

1. Set priorities for each day. - If Dad has a doctor's appointment, then that becomes the priority. If your daughter has a dance recital, that takes precedence. At the beginning of the week, let everyone in the family know what's ahead for the coming week. If everyone is aware of the schedule, and they can see that they're important enough to be on that schedule too, things will go more smoothly.

2. Learn that two letter word. - "No" - Saying no to our parents is not something we were taught to do, but when we're trying to balance caring for them and our family(and ourselves), it becomes a necessary word to have in our vocabulary. I remember the first time I had to tell my Dad he couldn't go to Walmart with me. He loved to go on these trips with me, but it was a laborious adventure each time. This particular day, I really just needed to do the grocery shopping by myself - for my sanity. I told Dad he needed to stay home this time, and I promised that the next time he could go with me. Dad seemed surprised that I told him no, but he accepted it. After that first time saying no, it becomes easier. Remember, you can say no without being disrespectful.

3. Expect and Accept help from others. - "She's my Mom. I can't expect my spouse and children to help." Wrong! Everyone in the family should be pitching in. You are one big family. Everyone should be helping. Accepting help from other family members gives you a break, but it also has some other advantages. My children really enjoy doing things for their Grandfather. Also, Dad loves spending time with them. It's a win-win-win scenario!

4. Live your life. - Life shouldn't come to a screeching halt. Having an elderly parent around doesn't have to mean that everything else suffers. Your kids will still have ball games, dances, sleep-overs, etc. You should make time for regular dates with your spouse. My Dad loves that "life" is happening all around him. He would feel like a burden, if he thought we were "suffering" with him here. Show your mom or dad a happy family living a happy life.


Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • basicallyme profile imageAUTHOR

      Vicki 

      5 years ago from Tennessee

      Aww thanks! It's hard, but so worth the "trouble". My Dad was once arguing with me about something trivial - something he didn't want to do. I was getting so aggravated with him, and then I had this image in my head of me as a child - whining and griping at my parents. I had to smile and be thankful that I could repay some of the pain I put him through.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      5 years ago from sunny Florida

      Great suggestions. I had two elderly parents to care for and it was at once wondrous and gut wrenching. As I watched them become the children and I was the parent, it saddened me. However my whole take on life is that not missing a moment of each day is how to live. So I did not stay in that sadness for long..I learned to relish each moment I had them.

      It was an experience that I went through twice that I am forever grateful for as I knew I had been able to give back a smidge of what they had given me.

      Thanks for sharing this.

      Sending Angels to you today :) ps

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)