Aging is inevitable, and it can have significant effects on families. It can be especially difficult to fully grasp what our parents go through as they age. While they can still manage to care for themselves, you may not notice any dramatic changes. However, there will come a time when aging will catch up with them and they will find it hard to complete their daily activities. If they live with you, you may find it difficult to manage your household while caring for your aging parents. Here are some ways to help you:
Get a Hold of the Situation
One of the first things you need to do is assess how much care your parents need. At first, you may think that every task is manageable, until you find yourself overwhelmed by having to care for your parents alongside your own family.
Start by creating a task sheet. Identify the things that you need to do on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. This way, you can know if you need 24-hour continuous in-home care or someone who can come on a weekly basis to help you out. A carefully laid out task sheet can also help you manage your schedule so you don’t miss out on anything, whether it’s for your parents or for your own family.
Don’t Compromise Your Health
It’s understandable if you want to be there for your parents 24/7. However, it’s also okay if you can’t be there for them every single time. Make sure that you’re not compromising your health as you care for them. Be realistic on what level of care you can provide without harming your own mental and physical health. Keep in mind that caregiver fatigue is real, and it can have a big impact on your familial relationships. When this happens, you may find yourself unable to care for everyone.
Ask for Help
Don’t burden yourself with everything, and ask for help when you need it. If you have siblings, ask them to take turns in caring for your parents. For example, you and your siblings can spend two months in each of your sibling’s houses. This way, you can have a breathing room longer to get your household sorted out. It’s also an opportunity for your parents to spend time with other family members. Plus, they won’t really suffer from the constant back and forths from one house to another.
If you don’t have any siblings, you may want to consider an assisted care facility or in-home care so you can focus on other tasks at home. If your parents are up for it, you can enroll them in an adult day program where they can interact with other people and socialize as you get your bearings at home.
Eliminate as many errands as possible. If you need to buy supplies, buy them in bulk, order them online, or have them delivered. There are delivery services that offer multi-stop features so you can have all your items in one go, allowing you to save time and energy.
Aging is difficult, and your parents may need your help during the most vulnerable times in their lives. However eager you may be to help them, you must not forget about your family and how they feel about you having to juggle several things all at once. These tips are worth considering when you feel too overwhelmed.