Being the primary caregiver to one or both of your aging parents is a major responsibility. It’s one that might prove more than a little overwhelming to anyone who is mentally or emotionally unprepared for the task. The stress that comes with caring for the elderly can be difficult to manage unless you take steps to alleviate some of the pressure and strengthen your coping mechanisms. If you are currently in the position of caring for aging parents, here are some helpful tips to help you deal with some of the stress that comes along with it.
Create a Routine…and Stick to It
Establishing a hard and fast way of doing things maintains a sense of balance and organization to each day. That’s important to have so you can prioritize everything that needs to get done and stay on top of accomplishing all of your tasks on a daily basis. If you feel yourself getting a little tired of this routine, adjust it accordingly to take the pressure off yourself and your parents.
Seek Out the Right Physician
In this instance, the “right” physician is one who specializes in treating the elderly. Finding a doctor who focuses primarily on treating geriatric clientele is far better equipped to identify medical issues before they become larger problems that require more complex and expensive treatments. This type of medical professional understands how an aging patient will react to medications and treatments and can offer advice on wellness and preventive care.
Keep Yourself Healthy
This includes ensuring that you are eating properly, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and giving your brain some time to disconnect from the rigors of responsibility. You may be reluctant to leave your parent in the care of another individual for even a short period of time, but if you don’t take some time for yourself it can lead to feelings of anger or resentment and this can cause problems in your relationships.
Organize All Paperwork
As your parents get older, their medical histories, medications, and contacts of medical professionals will get longer and more complicated. Filling out forms and documents usually means you’re getting a copy of that paperwork. All of these things need to be placed in one easy to access area where they can be referred to at a moment’s notice. You should also distribute copies of this paperwork to other family members so they too have the information necessary to provide to a doctor or health facility in the event something were to happen.
Don’t Hesitate to Get Help
As much as you may want to think so, you can’t do it all by yourself. There’s nothing wrong with asking for a little assistance from siblings, friends, and family members, anyone whom you trust to provide some type of support as you take on this sometimes daunting task of keeping your aging parents healthy and happy. You may also want to seek out adult care services in your area where you and your parents can enjoy safe and pleasant activities and support groups like Seniors Helping Seniors North Knoxville where your parents can spend time with other people their own age.