Caregiving for a parent is one of the common forms of caregiving. Eventually, most caregivers reach a point where they feel as though they have become their parent’s parent. It can be a confusing adjustment for everyone involved. From juggling doctors appointments, to an increase of home healthcare supplies, and taking on the daily responsibilities that a parent would normally handle for their children, it can be increasingly overwhelming. Here are some tips that can make this transition as simple as possible.
First, you must communicate properly when parenting your parent. Keep them in the loop at all times. Be sure to be prepared. You want to have these conversations well before an actual crisis. Many parents find it difficult and uncomfortable to talk about this with their children. The “big picture” can be frightful in any situation, so start with small steps, small decisions, and small changes. It is important to be direct and specific about why this is happening. Treating them as your equal in this decision making process will go a long way.
Find the best circumstances to have these conversations; allow both of you to have a safe place to voice your concerns. For example, if you notice that your parent tires later in the day, meet with them in the morning. Or maybe there is a there is a room in their house or a special chair that they would be comfortable in to have a serious discussion. Little details will go a long way when it comes to parenting you parent.
Many caregivers find that an assessment by an “outside expert” can be a good way to start. An outside resource provides a positive outside influence, aside from their children. They can offer advice on daily activities, home healthcare supplies and simplifying the caregiving process. Once you’ve communicated with your parent, you must stay organized, but firm with your plan. Although it may be difficult, parenting a parent is similar to parenting a child.
Most importantly, handle your own feelings wisely. It is common to feel stressed and uncomfortable when you beginning to parent your parent. You are not alone! There are plenty of people who are in the same situation. Take some time to find emotional support, home healthcare supplies that simplify your caregiving and ways for you to relieve stress. While caregiving is time consuming and sometimes a difficult, most caregivers find it is rewarding to give back to a parent when they need you most.
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