Have you ever felt anxious and worried about how to care for your aging parents? Have you also passed through the dilemma of having to send them to the nursing home because of the lack of time and resources you have?
Then fret not! Here are some tips which might help you ease out that worry at the back of your head.
The dogma of 21st century
Living in a fast-paced world is never easy. In a world where time is money and money is everything, it is difficult to take out time even for yourself. A genuine concern that arises is will you be able to give enough care to your parents who are now depending on you.
That is where the thought of a nursing home comes up. In one, you might be thinking this for the best of your parent’s health. Providing them caretakers and a facility of comfort which you can’t afford in your busy daily life might be the best alternative for you. But for some people, it is a way to wash the hands off the responsibilities that they must shoulder.
But have you ever imagined the pain in the eyes of parents who have to spend the rest of their life in a faraway distant place away from the warmth of the family? After devoting their youth to investing in you, they have to live-in care of strangers.
And this has become a dogma in today’s world. And this finds a full circle when the children face the same treatment from their children.
Has it always been this way?
It is natural to feel overwhelmed when you are faced with this situation. When you have to be responsible for the people responsible for you feel you have grown up a lot more. Shouldering double responsibility for your own family along with your parents might seem burdensome at times.
It is fine. Everyone goes through it. So did they when they had you as a baby. They might have felt that same pressure of how to raise and care for you.
It’s fine to have thoughts and worries. But the decision you take matters most.
Earlier when the world was a little less revolutionized and centered more on the familial feeling, the responsibility was naturally passed to one of the children usually the eldest. Since it was the normal norm of the times, it had to be fulfilled.
With changing times came the change in the mindset. The term independence had woven the seam of many households. Privacy was just starting to creep into the house between the family members. It was no longer a responsibility but a choice whether to care for your parents or not. Building on it came alternatives of nursing homes and the luxury care homes catering to people of all economic backgrounds.
How to do your bit
Changing your outlook will be the first step in the right direction. When you do things because you want to but not because you have to will bring a monumental change in the efforts you will have to put in.
Here are few other things you must bear in mind while caring for your parents.
- Understanding their needs and how you can support them
The needs of aging people vary depending on the diseases they suffer from. Some require a great deal of attention while others may not need you to keep your eye on them 24*7.
But at the other end of the spectrum lies how much you can cater to them. If your job doesn’t allow you to be there for them at the time of need, it is a limitation.
Understanding a balance between them is important. This way neither your parents will feel burdensome nor you will find it bothering.
- Sharing your responsibility
Share the responsibility of taking care of the parents among your family members and close relative. You need not take up everything on your shoulder.
Though the line of division of work will be blurred most of the time, any extra help is always welcome. This will help your parents as they can rely on them in your absence instead of strangers.
- Develop the sense of giving in your children
Parents most often find solace in the laughter and joy of the children. Make your children the black knight for your aging parents. The children will develop values while the parents can keep themselves engaged.
- Know the needs of your parents
It is difficult to get everything right the first time. You might forget a lot of things and some may not strike as an area where they might need your assistance.
These things will slowly grow on you. For your benefit, carry a notepad and write them down as and when you are required of it. This way it will remain stuck in your mind.
- Spend more time with them
They invested their time, money, and youth to build a future for you in the hope that you might have a better life than them.
They also realize that you are busy creating a better life for your children as well. But they ardently wish to spend some quality time with you.
Go out and have fun as a family. Give them a chance to enjoy the life that they might have missed over overlooked.
- Understand them
When a person starts to grow old, he/she doesn’t always remain in the same health nor can perform many of the activities as before. This might frustrate them.
The absence of a caring person may even drive them to loneliness and sudden bought of depression.
They are at a vulnerable stage where they are coming to terms with the limitations of themselves which were previously unknown to them. Also, they might be seeing their friends passing away.
These all bring them to the edge of vulnerability. Most of the time they might feel burdensome because of their lack of ability to perform some acts, which can frustrate them.
As a person caring for them, keep in mind the vulnerability. Have a broader approach when you tend to them. Ignore their small outpour of anguish and try to work with emotion rather than reason.
- Precautions you need to take
They are at the age when there are high chances of developing some or the other age-related health issues which might turn chronic if early attention is not paid to it. Hence, it is advisable to have a regular visit to the doctors and to look out for signs which indicate the symptoms of the illness.
Also, making your household elderly-friendly is another way to go about if you can afford to make some extra fittings in your house like anti-slip mats, grab bars, improved lightings…, etc.
Include your parents while planning for the care to be provided to them.
This will help both parties to know the demands and limitations and hence to chart out more beneficial and fruitful planning.
To sum up
Giving back the care and love you received is a moral obligation. But a bond between parents goes beyond the duty. When love binds the bridges, it becomes easy to take longer strides.