For many families, the upcoming holiday season is a time for coming together and a time for reflection. For adult children, these aspects of the season can often make for some tough situations. We may realize upon seeing our parents after a long absence that their health is not what it used to be. Realizing you need to come up with a strategy for caring for elderly parents is never an easy feat, but it is the first important step in facing a reality that nearly all of us will encounter as we ourselves get older.
A Role Reversal
The role reversal that caring for aging parents imposes on us and our loved ones can be difficult. However, with the right outlook and the help of advice on caring for elderly parents, you can make the necessary adjustments a little bit easier on you and your family.
When you’re first encountering this role reversal it can be, above all, strange for the parties on both sides. Some parents, having cared in different ways for you your whole life, may put up some resistance to this time of change. With this in mind, when your family is discussing caring for elderly parents, the most important thing might be to approach all conversations and conflicts with a heavy dose of patience. Every family is different, and the amount of difficulty involved in stepping up your role in caring for aging parents can vary widely. You should consider the situation for what it is…a process, not a single moment. With patience and perseverance, you can find the best solution for taking care of your parents based on their individual needs.
Where To Start
Every process of course has a starting point. And when it comes to caring for aging parents, this process needs to start with a realistic, group conversation that involves your family members and seeks input from both children and parents. Another source of tension in caring for elderly parents can be the process of sorting out the roles of different siblings. While it may be stressful, it is important to involve everyone. In the end, the degree of commitment in caring for aging parents may vary from sibling to sibling. However, without involving them in the conversation, you will never know how they feel about the situation. As hard as it may be to discuss certain things, using this time of year when your family may all get together in one place can be much easier than when you have all gone back to your busy lives.
Ask The Experts
Your family does not have to make this decision on its own, of course. Consider connecting with experts in your community and seek out their advice. Talk to your parent’s physician, staff at a local senior living community, an elder care attorney, as well as friends who have been in this situation before. Take in all this advice that you can about possible care options, so that you can be sure your family arrives at the right, well-informed decision for your parent(s).
You Can Do This!
By beginning with a level-headed conversation during this season, you can start down the road towards caring for your elderly parents to the best of your ability. Based on your parents’ individual health, consider their options for senior living and care — including all willing parties that you can this holiday season. With the right, patient approach, you can help ensure the best outcome for all involved.