Nothing in the world can prepare us for that time when we are asked to look after our aging parents. This happens to most of us at one point or other during our lives and it is always going to offer an immense challenge. You can read all of the books ever written about this role reversal dilemma, and none of them will really make that scenario easy to cope with. But you can take some solace in a few well-researched tips that may take the edge off your new relationship with your once providers and hopefully release a little of the well documented angst that lies ahead. We have made a shortlist for the purposes of this article, good luck and we hope they can help you manage with those challenging times that are coming your way.
Ask Your Own Family For Help
Make no mistake, looking after one or two parents is going to be tough, and then some. So do not be too proud to ask your partner and children to step in with some assistance. Your folks may even enjoy the attention and they might also find it easier to relate to your partner than they can with their own child. This is connected to the shared baggage that you both share and your own spouse may have a clearer idea of what is really going on because they do not have that history to deal with.
Even the closest brothers and sisters have been known to fall out with each other when their parents become ill. This is a very normal scenario and can be related to a number of issues, but they main one is always the same – Money! You would be best advised to take a step back and let them get on with this rather unattractive family squabble. Just do your best for your parents and you will feel far happier as a result.
Look After Number One
Okay, you are the younger and healthier version of your parents, but that may not be the case if you stop looking after yourself. You can easily get stressed out and forget the most basic of self-care rules. By becoming ill, you will become a burden to your parents that they really could do without. Take a break – get some exercise, plenty of sleep, and remember to eat properly, do this as a part of your new daily routine.
Speak To a Buddy
Remember that you still have a life and people care about you, so don’t cut them off during this period of your life. Speak to your friends and feel free to share your thoughts, or not, this is your call. But if you remain connected to the outside world, you will feel refreshed and lower the risk of feeling alone in your life.
Have Some Fun
Try to enjoy this time whenever possible, your parents still have a sense of humour, hopefully, so put on some funny movies and have a good old laugh together. You will regret not doing this once that opportunity has gone.
Be Proud of Yourself
Although you will not be getting a medal for your selfless efforts, you should give yourself a big pat on the back and be very proud of what you are doing.