Be honest with your parents about your time and energy limits. Be upfront about the impact on your personal time and needs. Discuss the current state of affairs and a future plan in a casual manner.
Approach the subject of your parents’ needs in simple terms. They understand the scope of their care needs and talking about the process can help defuse the tension. Once you open the lines of communication, you can begin to map a strategy that will work for everyone.
Some examples of talking points are below:
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Respect your parents’ needs to make their own decisions and remain in control of their lives. Limits are often placed on their autonomy due to sickness, lack of financial resources, and the quality of family relationships. Let them participate in the decision making process, if possible.
Reassure your parents. Let them know you are supporting them, and they can depend on you to help solve problems.
As health and living problems arise, assess your parent’s problems and needs. A professional geriatric team, including physicians, nurses, and social workers, can perform the assessment. A lawyer and financial adviser may also be helpful.
You and your parents (if able), need to become educated in areas relevant to their changing situation.
Don’t try to do everything yourself. Share the emotional and physical responsibilities among family, friends, professional, and private pay assistance
Brainstorm with family and friends about ways to help older family members maintain their identity, continued interests on some level, and create as many decision-making opportunities as possible.
Opt for the smallest change possible at each step. Don’t be overwhelmed by the complete care that may be necessary in five years, when partial help may be all that is currently needed.
Be willing to take some risks if your parent is capable of realistically recognizing them and chooses to take them. At the very least, be open to a compromised solution.
Obtain professional counseling if the situation or relationship with an elderly parent becomes overwhelming.
Contact Visiting Angels 24/7 for assistance at 678-203-8169.