With the amount of people who are retiring and getting into the older stages of life, many people who are currently in the workforce or raising families of their own are starting to become responsible for the added care of their own parents. And while taking on this responsibility can be a blessing and make sense for some, balancing this new part of life along with everything else can be a challenge.
If this is something that you’re starting to have to come to terms with, here are three tips for balancing caring for an aging parent with your other responsibilities.
Start Off With Clear Boundaries
For those who are just beginning on this journey, Carol Bradley Bursack, a contributor to AgingCare.com, recommends that you start off with clear boundaries for yourself, your parent, and anyone else who will be assisting in their care. Without this having these clear boundaries from the get-go, it can often be very hard to later place healthy boundaries once your parent or other caregivers have gotten used to the way things are going.
As part of these boundaries, make sure you prioritize the aspects of your life that need your attention. This should include your own spouse and children or other important people in your life. You’ll also want to allow yourself the time and ability to continue doing things that make you happy, even if that means spending some time away from caring for your aging parent. This can help you maintain a healthy balance in your life.
Speak With Your Work
If you’re still working while taking care of your aging parent, WebMD.com suggests that you speak with those at your work about your situation.
When caring for an aging parent, there might be times when you need to adjust your work schedule in order to be there for your parent when needed. By giving your work a heads-up about these kinds of things, you may find it easier to meet both of these responsibilities.
Know Your Limits
While you might have the best of intentions when it comes to caring for an aging parent, there may come a point where you can’t be the majority caregiver anymore. To help you when you reach this stage, it’s good to know where your limits are and what you intend to do if and when you reach those limits, like looking into assisted living facilities.
To help you with this, Kathleen Kelly, a contributor to PBS.org, suggests that you make a list of things you can do and things you can’t do for your elderly parent. Then, when something that you can’t do becomes something that’s necessary for them, you should start looking into other options for their care.
If you’re worried about how you’ll balance caring for your aging parent with all the other parts of your life, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you figure this out.
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