Raising your own children can be an adventure, and caring for aging parents at the same time only adds to the challenge. Taking care of your parents at any age is a necessity for many, and it can be achieved by careful planning and using these helpful tips.
Ask For (And Accept) Help
One of the worst things that a person can do in this situation is try to take on all responsibilities alone. It is absolutely alright to ask for help when you need it, and you should accept it frequently when it is offered. Whether from siblings, friends or other family members, lessening the workload will take away a lot of the stress.
Get Rid of the Guilt
If you have a job, a home to clean, children to raise and aging parents to care for, it is easy to get sucked into a vortex of guilt. You physically won’t be able to do it all, every time. Don’t let guilt get to you, and try to focus on what you can achieve rather than what you can’t.
Include Your Children in Caring For Aging Parents
Children of all ages can be a big help with elderly parents. From enlisting your teenage son to pick up medicine from the pharmacy to asking younger children to talk with their grandparents, kids can really make a difference.
Carve Out Time To Yourself to Relieve Stress
One of the worst things that adults can do in these situations is forget about themselves. Carve out some time to have a date with your spouse, read a novel or go for a jog.
Create a Schedule – But Remain Flexible
Having a schedule in place is vital if you want to juggle after-school activities, doctors appointments and work. Don’t worry if the schedule doesn’t pan out, however. Treat it as more of a guideline than as something set in stone.
Consider Professional Assistance
Professional help can make this challenge a lot easier. Whether it means hiring a part-time nurse, a nanny for your kids on certain afternoons or a weekly housekeeper, the expense may be worth your sanity and peace of mind.
Communicate Openly With Children and Parents
Spend time explaining the situation to your children, and communicate with parents as well. Children are often eager to help when they understand more about the situation, and aging parents can feel less powerless when they feel included.
Known as the sandwich generation, those who care for both children and aging parents have their work cut out for them. However, bringing together multiple generations under one roof can also be a wonderful experience for families.