As your parent gets older, you gain responsibilities that make you feel more like a parent than a child. Becoming the parent to your parent is tough. Not only will you feel guilty at having to sometimes be the bad guy, but your parent may fight your decisions making it harder to handle a situation without feeling stress. Here are tips on handling the stress that happens when you parent your parent.
Don't Ignore Your Responsibilities
Even if you have to help your mom or dad on a regular basis, you need to take care of your own bills and household first. You won't be able to really support your parent if you're risking your job by skipping work repeatedly. Stay on top of your own appointments, bills, and work responsibilities.
Learn Some Form of Meditation
Meditation helps relieve stress. Participate in a calming exercise like Tai Chi or go for a long walk alone. Even spending a few minutes sitting on a patio or deck without others interrupting you can help you clear your mind.
Pick Your Battles
With some of the arguments you have, you have to learn to pick your battles. If your parent decides he or she wants nothing to do with deciding what to eat, don't force the issue. Make a meal you know your parent enjoys and don't worry about getting your mom or dad's input when it comes to menu plans. If this means your mom or dad is having grilled chicken salad every night, don't worry about the repetition.
Schedule Alone Time
Alone time is a term that many dealing with anxiety get. It's time where you lock yourself away and do something that relaxes you. It may be taking a warm bubble bath, reading a book, or heading to the beach to watch the tide turn. Even when you take on the role of a family caregiver, you need time to yourself. No one benefits from your becoming overwhelmed, so spend time alone to help avoid excessive stress.
Take Time Off
Don't feel that you have to do everything alone. It's okay to hire an elderly care service to spell you for a few hours each day or even once a week. While a caregiver from an elderly care service watches after your mom or dad, go out and do something fun. Go out to dinner with friends, go window shopping, or rent a movie to watch in the quiet of your own home. No matter what you want to do, remember that you can hire an elderly care service whenever you need a break.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Okemos, MI, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors of Lansing. Call today: 517-332-9953.