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Why Is Caring For Aging Parents So Stressful?

When roles reverse in the family.

Are you a carer? Photo origin

We love our parents unconditionally. It can’t be helped. They cared for us and nurtured us, and continued to support us and help us into our adult years. But now the roles are reversing. Our parents are becoming frail as age sets in. Their bodies are weakening, their needs are growing, and their minds aren’t quite as sharp as they once were. So why are we the ones to be stressing out about that?

Looking after a parent that is ill or developing an age-related health condition isn’t easy. Of course, as parents ourselves we understand the challenges they faced looking after us. We owe them the care and love and attention they lavished on us as kids. But an aging parent’s needs aren’t the same as the needs of a child. There are more complications, and many other issues to consider. These are just some of the reasons why it is so hard to care for a parent in need.

So what can you do to make your role easier and the care your parent gets more effective? You can’t do this on your own, and your parent would never expect you to. In fact, many seniors prefer personal care to be managed by people outside of the family. If you want your parent to retain as much dignity as possible in these circumstances, it’s really important you discuss them at length. Find out what your mom or dad’s preferences are.

Mental stimulation.

When the body is no longer willing, there might be fewer opportunities to get out and about and enjoy the things you used to do. This is why part of your parent’s needs as they get older includes plenty of mental stimulation. It is thought that plenty of creative activities can help keep the mind strong and focused. These might be arty projects, music lessons, or puzzles.

Alzheimer’s isn’t inevitable, but it is thought to be a condition you might be genetically predisposed to. It’s important that you seek specialist help as soon as a diagnosis is made. Places like the Modern Brain Center provide care, therapy and treatment as well as support for the families. This could be ideal if you are your parent’s primary carer. You should make sure you have all the relevant information for any health conditions that might be affecting your parent. This will help you make informed decisions about their care.

What type of care is best? Photo origin

Finding more support.

It’s important you have as much support as possible to reduce the stress you experience. It can become a full-time job to care for a frail senior. Your own employer should be flexible enough to offer you support too. This might include reduced hours or working from home as you need. It might be a good idea to seek personal counseling as well so you can talk about your frustrations, worries, and concerns.

Make sure all the family are getting involved, so it’s not all left to you. There might come a time when you need to make decisions on behalf of your parent, so you need to make sure your siblings are on board with this. How do you keep your stress under control when you care for vulnerable family members?

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