When Roles Reverse: “Parenting” Your Ageing Parents

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Unfortunately, time takes a toll on us all, and at some stage our parents will start to rely on us. When our parents start to age, it is time for us as their children to ensure that they are safe in their home and have everything they need. Memory starts to go with age and many older people end up with medical problems that can inhibit them from daily activities such as grocery shopping. Here are few ways to deal with parenting your aging parents.

Safety

One of the biggest concerns you may face with an aging parent is their safety in their home, especially if they are on their own or their partner wouldn’t be able to assist them in case of an emergency. If your parent has had a fall, you already know how scary it can be finding out they were stuck on the floor on their own. Providing them with a medical alert system allows for them to call for help from a device they can wear around their neck. To know your parents are safe in case of a fall, heart attack or stroke, find the best medical alert systems in 2019. 

Assist Them Without Them Feeling “Parented”

Instead of looking at it as “parenting”, look at it as assisting them. If they are really struggling with something, see what you can do to help without getting involved and fully taking over. For example, if they are struggling to get out of the house for grocery shopping on their own, ask them if they want to come with you when you do your weekly shopping or introduce them to online grocery shopping which can be delivered to their home. For parents with dementia, here are some great tips for assisting them around their home

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Follow Their Wishes

Although nobody likes to think about it, knowing your parents wishes can help with seeing them grow old and pass away in a place they want to be. Ensure they have a will in place and that you have an idea of what they want if they develop a disease such as Alzheimer’s, where inevitably they will reach a stage where they are unable to tell you. If they do not want to be in a care home, look for care companies that come out to homes if they are medically well enough to live like this. 

Involve Them in Your Lives

One way to make certain your parents are safe, enabling you to keep an eye on them without them feeling as though you are constantly checking in, is by keeping them more involved in your lives. If you have children, taking their grandchildren round is a great distraction while you see how they are doing and can check if they have milk and bread in the house. If you have siblings, take turns with popping in so you can have peace of mind that they are okay, and your parents won’t feel embarrassed. 

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Admit When You Need Help

Some parents find it hard to rely on their children, never mind anybody else. If your parents are aging and have medical conditions that need a lot of attention, it can get to a point where you are neglecting yourself. As much as you want to parent your own parents, if you need help and are constantly working or being with them, it may be time to look at other options. You should never feel guilty for this, yet many children face emotional challenges when beginning to look after their parents. 

It can be tough to look after your own parents, but it is important to do this while giving them as much independence as possible. If you feel like you need help, talk to someone. 

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