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Visiting and caring for the elderly. How to care and have patience with elderly parents

Updated on August 1, 2012


I wasn't planning on writing this today, but after all that I've been through the past few days, I want to. [I had 2 other hubs I've been writing, but here is the latest] :)

I have two parents, Dad age 82 and Mom age 77. It's been a rollercoaster ride since three years ago Dad was hospitalized and almost died and now uses a walker and wheelchair.

Mom on the other hand, got sick 2 years ago and had hip surgery. She uses a walker also and a wheelchair.

Being the youngest of 10 and only 35 now, It's heartbreaking to watch them in pain and unhappy at times. I can't tell you how many times I've cried when my Mom was sick and I feared for her health.

Taking care of them, even though my other siblings help is a monumental task.

I know they have a nurse / or person who come to wash them, but them being so very stubborn, this help is very limited due to their preference.  My parents are from a generation I suppose that likes to do things for themself.

Dad gets up in the moring and in his wheelchair cooks. Mom uses her walker and cooks for her (and) me! This is a kindness they like to do. They feel productive.

I only visit a few days a week.

Today I was tired, I'm on a new medicine and it's makes me tired. But I took Dad to the bank, and went to two grocery stores to get what he likes. I enjoyed this.....before I hated to do it, especially if Dad wanted to come in the store, because I couldn't handle it if he was being controlling, and yelling, etc.

Now with my calmness and sweetness ( smile) I feel more relaxed. (Proud of me).

So, We get all this done and he throws me 10 bucks for gas, etc. He enjoys seeing the fall foilage.

Well, I'm tired when we get home, so I retreat to my room, then decide to come to the library. Lately I've been painting and I'm doing my 3rd painting of my parents, a remake of a photo taken about 25 years ago, with them holding hands, how sweet.

No matter how ill my parents feel, or how much my dad yells, they are able to show they care for each other. I've often in the past had a lot of anger toward them for "screwing me up" but when I reflect sometimes I realize they did the best they could and they have shown great love and care and they most of all "never gave up" on their marriage -over 50 years- or on thier children, this amoung other things has been a valuable lesson.

If you have/had Elderly Parents would you care for them yourself?

See results

If things get too stressful

Hire a Home Instead Senior Care person to come and help w/ cleaning and keep them company and help cook.

Get away. Have some "me time". Right now I feel very stressed and it's affecting me. If I don't go back to my place, I will take some time to myself. I must relax.

Other family members can add to stress, if they visit and criticize how you are helping or don't understand why you are tired, etc. Avoid them too. Make sure you take time to eat, and sleep, and have fun, etc.

Good luck if you are a caretaker. It's probably one of the most stressful jobs but most rewarding. If you are a Christian, you know that God will reward you for He says "You clothed me when I was naked, and you helped me when I needed help" therefore you are coming to My Father's Kingdom. That not the exact quote, but similar. I'm not a bible expert!!! LOL

Well, writing this I think helped take a weight off my shoulders, and earned me another hub :)

I love my parents, it's not easy, but what I enjoy most doing with them is spending time with them and just being good company. I like to sit with my Mom and talk, and play a game.

When Jesus was with Martha and Mary, Mary sat and listened to Jesus talk and was good company. Martha was busy cleaning or cooking and Jesus preferred Mary's company. In the same way sorta, I'd prefer listening and spending time, mostly. As much as I like cleaning and keeping things in order, what my parents want most of all are the small things: emptying my dad's comode without him asking me, giving him his pills, saying Goodnite and so forth.

With my Mom, she tells me she loves my company. We've always been close. She seems to prefer my company the most at times, she says so anyways. I happen to be the most affectionate, I have developed more patience, I can be gentle with her, she loves to hear what I'm doing and seeing my artwork, poetry, etc. I brighten up her life. And my cat is wonderful with her and keeps her good company.

Loving your parents, no matter how difficult they are goes a long way as you must notice. But thankfully, me spending time with them and showing them love.........makes them less irritable and more happy.

Last thing, respect your parents wishes if they want to die at home, many do, it's very common. But they need home care.........Nursing homes don't care like family do, at times it will be necessary if older people have dementia or conditions that require tremendous care. It's a burden on anyone, or can be. You decide what you are capable of.

I thank you for reading.


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    • schoolgirlforreal profile image

      schoolgirlforreal 7 years ago



      your comment means alot.

      still dealing with it but love my mom alot.

      just praying for relief!

      take care :)

    • kimberlyback profile image

      kimberlyback 7 years ago from Barbourville, KY

      Over the last two years I went through a similar experience with my father (beginning when I was 23). He faced a lot of health issues as a disabled Vietnam Veteran, but the issues escalated after my mother suddenly died of a heart attack. His health steadily declined and he moved into a veteran's home to receive intensive treatment and therapy. Now, he is mobile again and living independently. I have nearly crumbled under the weight of all the stress, and it is still a daily struggle. Patience is a battle.

    • schoolgirlforreal profile image

      schoolgirlforreal 7 years ago

      Thank you for your kindness and understanding and agreeing how hard it can be.

      I appreciate your comment!

    • Aussieteacher profile image

      Di 7 years ago from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

      I will write about my experiences - I live over 2000 kms from my parents. My mum is 95, (and now in a nursing home for her dementia) and dad is now 91 and lives alone. My sister, who works full time, keeps an eye on them, but we are all traumatised be events as they unfold. Best wishes to you for being there for your parents.

    • schoolgirlforreal profile image

      schoolgirlforreal 7 years ago

      DeBorrah K. Ogans

      Thanks so much! I am counting on that! lol

      I need to take a picture of my painting(s) to show on here, hmmm. On my list of to do thanks again.

    • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

      DeBorrah K Ogans 7 years ago

      Schoolgirlforreal, How lovely of you to spend time regularly with your aging parents! It is not always easy but the Lord is Blessing you in the process! He has given you insight, compassion and sensitivity you are also acquiring more patience! Which will be helpful when you start a family of your own...

      I am sure that this will be reflective in your art work and poetry as well! Be encouraged and Thank you for sharing! GOD BLESS YOU!

      In HIS Love, Grace, Joy, Peace & Blessings!

    • schoolgirlforreal profile image

      schoolgirlforreal 7 years ago

      Thanks K9! I would love to show you the picture!

    • K9keystrokes profile image

      India Arnold 7 years ago from Northern, California

      SG~I am in awe of your new found strength. It is so difficult to watch the decline of someone you love. My heart goes out to you and your task. It is a selfless thing you do that allows your sick parents to retain some form of self pride and usefullness. You are a giant among grand things.

      ~I would love to see a picture of the 'parents painting' when you get it done!~

      Your Hub Buddy,


    • schoolgirlforreal profile image

      schoolgirlforreal 7 years ago

      Hi kashmir! You are wonderful. I appreciate your thoughts and prayers very much!

      Wow, yes I will email you. thanks again, you're a real help.....ttys

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 7 years ago from Massachusetts

      schoolgirlforreal did you know that there is a program in Massachusetts that will pay you for taking care of your parents if they qualify? If you want to know more email me from my profile page.

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 7 years ago from Massachusetts

      I know what you are going through schoolgirlforreal, i to did that for both of my parents.(they are both with God now)Hang in there on those bad days,if it hurts you seeing them that way,think on how it must make them feel.I will pray to Jesus to give you strength on those stressful days. It's a wonderful thing you are doing for your Mom and Dad.