Dealing with aging parents can be difficult for adult children. Be prepared, get help when needed, take care of yourself and be understanding of your parents' plight, and you can enjoy their golden years as much as they do.
- Be prepared
Aging parents can need your help suddenly and without warning, so be prepared. Making plans ahead of time about money, insurance (including Medicare and Medicaid), housing, nursing, wills and advanced directives can make it much easier to assist your parents when necessary. Try to prepare yourself emotionally for what the future holds as your parents get older.
- Get help
Don't be afraid to hire professional help for your parents. Skilled nurses, therapists, social workers and doctors are available to help you and your parents. If your mother or father requires more help than you can provide, use any additional resources available to you.
- Take care of yourself
As you deal with your aging parents, remember to care for yourself, too. Take time to unwind and relax. Don't neglect your own health. Hire an additional caretaker so you can take a break, if needed. Don't try to carry the burden of your aging parents alone.
- Be understanding
The process of aging may be difficult for your parents. As people age, their personalities might change, so it can be hard to adjust to your parents' new personalities and behaviors. It's also important to remember that an attitude change may develop due to a mental or physical condition.