The world’s population is getting older thanks to excellent research and healthcare. This means that many people are taking on the role of caring for their elderly parents. This role reversal isn’t something that is always easy to do, but many feel it’s their duty; after all, your parents took care of you when you were small and raised you to function well in the world, so the least you can do is take care of them in return.
Of course, this is a fairly simplistic way to look at a complex situation, but it is a starting point.
If you do feel that you want to take care of your loved ones, you must understand that it’s not an easy task in some cases. Your parents may feel there are losing their independence, and they might not appreciate the help, for example. Or they might be unwell – physically or mentally – which means you need to think about learning new skills.
Plus, you’ll need to think about your own life, including your career and any family you have who rely on you. This is why it’s so important to keep yourself healthy in this situation. Read on for some advice on what to do.
Build A Network
No one can take care of someone else all by themselves. It takes not only professionals for some aspects of the work, but it also takes a network of helpful people to whom someone can turn when things are hard. These people might be friends and other family members who can help out from time to time, or they might be strangers in an online forum who can offer advice because they have been through the same thing.
They can be anyone at all. The point is, you need someone to turn to for help when it is required.
If you try to do everything yourself, you will become burned out, exhausted, physically sick, and mentally unwell, too, in some cases. Can you imagine trying to take care of a loved one when you are feeling like this? It would be impossible. So turn to a community to help you when you need it, and you’ll be able to help much more. If taking care of your parents impacts your health a lot, try to offer them to join one of the assisted living communities out there. Let them socialize with others and take that pressure off of you.
See A Therapist
As much as this community you are making for yourself will be useful, it is often a good idea to find a specific therapist to visit regularly. Don’t worry that you won’t be able to find one; search out therapists near me and you’ll see a variety to choose from. Make sure you research them all and find the one that is going to help you the most.
When you see a therapist, you can let all of your feelings out, and you might even surprise yourself by talking about things you hadn’t realized were upsetting you and causing you stress.
Learn To Say No
It’s always going to be hard to say no to your parents, but sometimes it is entirely necessary. The last thing you’ll want to do is tell them they can’t do something, but if it’s going to be best if they don’t, or you know it wouldn’t be good for them or that they can’t do it anymore due to their physical condition, you’ll need to be strong.
However, when saying no, you need to understand your own self as well. Sometimes you’ll have to say no to something because you won’t be able to help them. They might want to go to the store or to visit a friend and need you to take them, but if you’re at work or you need to spend time with your children, or you just need a little time by yourself, saying no is the best thing you can do.
You can use your network to find someone else to help in many cases; you don’t have to do it all by yourself. If you do, you’ll gain nothing and lose yourself at the same time.