Taking Care of Ageing Parents

In time, we all face the role reversal that comes from being parented by our parents to having to care for our parents like a parent.  Indeed taking care of elderly parents can be hard work; as not only do you need to tend to their medical and physiological needs but also their social and emotional needs.  In reality, this can be a tiring uphill struggle, particularly when dealing with illnesses such as Alzheimer’s and dementia, so here are few tips that will help lighten the load and take some of the weight off your shoulders.

HIRE A CLEANER

Often, cleaning and undertaking daily or weekly chores can be a core component of the time you spend with your parents looking after their needs; which, whilst essential in many respects this time could be better invested in engaging and interacting with them on a social level.  If you can afford to outsource the cleaning to an external cleaner, this will free up your time to connect and engage.  One of the most common issues amongst old people is a lack of social engagement – so pass the torch (or in this case, the brush) to someone else to take care of the cleaning and you start caring for the emotional state of the person you are working so hard to look after.

OUTSOURCE THE CARE

It might not always feel like the nicest of options, but there is a time and a place for outsourcing some of your parent’s care.  The cost of this can be pretty expensive, and whilst you’re paying a premium price you’re not always getting the premium service one would expect.  In fact, carers are some of the lowest paid members of the health community which can lead to a particularly young workforce who are inexperienced to deal with the challenges clients face in a tactful and caring way.

However, there are a number of services such as Seniors for Seniors elder care services that provide more mature and experienced carers who work from a place of passion, care and consideration – most likely having experienced something themselves with their own parents, this level of empathy and tactful interaction with their clients is a highly valued  commodity you are unlikely to find with younger carers.

HIRE A GARDENER

In a similar vein to hiring a cleaner, hiring a gardener to maintain aspects such as keeping the lawn trimmed and tending to leaves in the driveway (particularly useful if your parent could be at risk of slipping and falling) – these are jobs that are tempting to take on yourself, but outsourcing these jobs to a gardener, or even a family member, such as a child – will free your time up to care for more pressing emotional needs.

The golden thread throughout these ideas is that of outsourcing aspects of practical care so that you can focus more on engaging with the emotional aspects of your parent; in reality, they would most likely appreciate a day out by the seaside or a companion to watch their favourite TV show than have you rattling around in the kitchen; checking up on them to see if they have taken their medication.  Therefore, try to outsource as much as you can and focus on being their trusted friend rather than their ‘home help’

Some Pointers For Mastering The Art Of Parenthood

 

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Being a parent isn’t easy. You probably knew that before you even had children because it’s something that other parents never stop saying. Of course, when you actually have kids, you truly appreciate how difficult it is to juggle your many responsibilities. Obviously, you were probably prepared in the sense that you knew you’d have these responsibilities, but nobody can be prepared for how tired they’ll be once they become a parent. It takes a while for your brain and body to adjust. And if you want some pointers to help you master the art of parenthood then the following pieces of advice should give you the answers.

 

Get help from friends, family members, and babysitters.

The first step for mastering the art of parenthood is learning to take a step back. That might sound like the exact opposite of any advice you were expecting, but it’s important. As we’ll discuss throughout this article, you’re the best parent to your kids when you’re the best version of yourself. And that’s why you need to know when to take a break. You might want to get a “granny nanny” to help you out. The beauty of hiring help from semi-retired (or fully-retired) women is that they’ll be ready to devote themselves to looking after your children at the drop of a hat. Of course, the same thing could be achieved by getting help from friends, family members, or babysitters to look after your children.

 

The important thing is that you need to accept help wherever possible to look after your kids. You don’t have to do everything on your own, even if you have the help of a partner. In fact, getting assistance from friends or babysitters can give you and your partner the opportunity to go out for a nice meal. Or you could simply ask for help from family members and friends when you have some chores you need do and appointments you need to make. The people close to you will appreciate that you have many errands which need to be completed on a daily basis. Whether you have babies or teens, you can’t be in the house 24/7 to keep an eye on everyone and everything. It’s important to give yourself breaks from time to time, whether it’s a break to do errands or a break to relax and enjoy yourself. If you get others to help you spread your responsibilities then you won’t feel as if there’s a weight on your shoulders. This will help to protect your sanity and make you a better parent to your kids.

 

Keep up with school.

Whether your kid is entering pre-school or they’re on the verge of starting college, you probably feel as if you’re going through the educational experience with them. And, with an adult’s perspective, you probably take it more seriously than you did when you were the student. Obviously, this is also because you want your child to be as successful as possible. Whilst you can’t sit your child’s exams for them and you shouldn’t do their homework if you want them to learn, you should be aiming to keep up with their school progress. You can provide support and guide them through their homework. And, whilst all kids hate this, you should ask them about their day when they get home. The best thing you can do, as a parent, is to simply let your child know you’re there and ready to help them.

 

You might also want to get involved with the school on a personal level. If you want to ensure that your kid has the best possible educational experience then help to make sure the school works as well as possible. This doesn’t mean you should tell teachers how to do their jobs, but you should make appointments to discuss issues if you want to make sure you’re getting the full picture of your child’s progress. You could even give suggestions that might help the school out. NST help teachers to organize school trips on their website. You could suggest that the school uses this resource to keep things structured and to keep parents in the loop. The point is that every parent should make sure they know as much as possible about the curriculum and the general structure of the school their child attends. Don’t simply get all of your information straight from the mouth of your kid (especially if they’re not very talkative when it comes to school).

 

Teach them about values.

You should also aim to teach your children about the things they should value in life. Obviously, this will vary from family to family. It depends on the things you personally believe, but there are certain things that every child should learn at a young age. You should teach your kid the value of honesty, patience, respect, and being kind to others. These are the core traits that we all need to possess in order to care for our family and people we meet in the world. If you want to be the best possible parent to your child then you need to give them the skills they’ll need to do well in the adult world.

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Look after each other.

As mentioned earlier, being a good parent is about being the best version of yourself. You need to look after your physical and mental wellbeing in order to take care of your child’s physical and mental wellbeing. The best way to achieve this is to look after one another in your household. You could have weekly family catch-ups to see how everyone is doing. It’s a chance to open up about any problems members of the family might be experiencing at home, work, or school. You can all provide support for each other. Of course, those weekly meetings are also a chance to open up about good things that have happened throughout the week or simply to tell stories about funny things that have happened. It’s an opportunity to keep connections strong in your family. Bonding is the best way to look after each other. It’s about making sure everyone in the family knows that they’re valued and loved by everyone else in the family.