Do not feel alone if you are caring for your aging parents because you are one of 50 million Americans in the same boat. Whether they are staying with you or in another location, if you have the responsibility for their care, prepare yourself for a time consuming and emotional experience.
Tips for the Son or Daughter
Caring for your aging parents can be a very draining and exhausting ordeal. A support system between your brothers and/or sisters and friends will help lighten the load. Caring for aging parents is impossible to do on your own, especially if you work full time. You must come to the realization that at some point in time, one or both of your parents might have their normal thoughts, behavior, and attitudes changed radically by disease.
If this happens, caring for your parent can be like dealing with a complete stranger. For your own emotional and physical health, you will need an occasional break. Having your own parent not recognize you or think you are somebody else can come as a big shock to your system.
Consulting with an accountant and/or attorney, if you are caring for aging parents, is time, energy, and money well spent. By making sure a will is drawn up and estate laws examined in detail, you will be free to give loving care for your aging parents. Depending on your circumstances, you may find that you can claim your parent as a tax deduction.
Taking Away the Car
This usually happens before the house is taken away. There are many things that have a negative effect on an older driver. Diminishing eyesight, physical handicaps, and mental disease can all make it very dangerous for these people to drive, both for their own safety and the safety of others. Very seldom does the parent voluntarily give up their car keys. Often times it is best just to make the car disappear over night.
Taking Away the House
Get ready for the battle of your lifetime when you determine, for their own safety, that your parents must be moved to a care facility. A home can be a very dangerous place for an older person who forgets things easily or has physical limitations. Falling down the stairs or leaving the stove burner on can have devastating effects.
You Are Not a Parent
While you are a care giver for your aging parents, you can never be a parent to your parent. The most that you can do is respond with love to their needs as they responded to your needs when you were young. Always remember that caring for your aging parents requires patience, patience, and more patience.