Times have changed since I was young. Nowadays couples are waiting longer to have children and people are living longer lives. With the rising costs of retirement living and nursing care, it is more common for parents of young kids to also be caring for their elderly parents at the same time.
On the flipside, many parents find themselves taking care of grandchildren and their elderly parents. Burn out is REAL, especially when you feel you are never going to have peace and quiet.
Let's take a look at how we can help find balance when you're caring for elderly parents.
Make a Schedule
This is key whether you are caring for your own children or your parents. Everyone needs time to reset and recharge. If you don't take care of yourself first then how will you take care of everyone else?
Whether you get up early to enjoy the silence of the house or take a long hot bath at the end of the night, carving out time is essential. Create a schedule that has time for you to do something you love.
Every situation is different, of course; but it's helpful to sit down and work out a schedule of visiting and helping. If you need to hire someone or call on a friend or family member to watch your folks while you get away, then ask for help. No need to feel guilty – you scheduled this “me time” in, remember?
Seek Out Family and Friends
Just like I mentioned above it is important to have someone to phone when you need a break. We can't all afford to hire someone or find someone we trust. Now is the time to call on the loved ones that surround you, whether they are extended family, friends, neighbors or belong to the same club as you. Make a list of people you know are reliable and capable of lending a hand when you need it.
It's okay to ask for help. Nobody is expected to do this alone.
Equip Your Home for Elderly Parents
If you're looking for ways to make your life easier finding the proper caregiving items to assist with caring for your elderly parents is important. This can be anything from a chair lift to bathroom aids.
Giving your folks the ability to easily move around your home without your assistance is important. They can keep their independence and they won't need to rely on you for everything. From going up the stairs on a stairlift to a walk-in bathtub there are many great options available at Age UK Mobility.
Caring for your family can be overwhelming and sometimes we all need a safe place to decompress. Consider talking to a counselor, they listen while allowing you to “vent” and can help you discover some coping strategies to make your day easier. If this seems overwhelming there are also support groups that you can join with people in similar situations that understand what you're going through.
There is no doubt that you are doing the best you can, given your situation. Give yourself permission to not do it alone and enjoy the time when you're surrounded by your loved ones. Finding balance when you're caring for elderly parents is essential.