Caring For Yourself When You Are Caring For Your Elderly Parents

When mapping out financial plans for the future, most of us do not include a category for paying for the needs of our own elderly parents. Lack of planning can greatly impact the quality of life for everyone involved. In one poll, over 60% of people asked, had no plan for how they would take care of their parents’ needs and over half said that they sacrificed their own needs to pay for elderly care.

This can be devastating, but even in the best financial situations, what is often overlooked is the emotional cost. To avoid what psychologists term “Caregiver’s Burnout” it is suggested that steps be taken to ensure that self-care is also a priority.

It Takes a Village
Sometimes the hardest thing a person can do is ask for help. Working a 40+ hour week and possibly even taking care of children at home is a colossal struggle on its own. Add elder care, and a manageable burden becomes truly unmanageable. There are some people who need permission to allow themselves to just let someone else take on a small part of the burden. Realizing that reaching out and asking for help is not a sign of weakness is the first step in Self-Care.

When money is tight, getting creative is necessary. Trading off with friends and relatives just to get time for yourself can work in getting much needed relief. You did it when your kids were little, it’s time to do it now with your aging parents.

Respite
There really can be rest for the weary if you do some research and seek out what is available in your area. This is a gift you need to give yourself on a regular basis. Try to schedule help from an adult day care. Some nursing homes may even offer this type of service. There are also small, private centers that offer day care for groups of 3 or 4. There are other larger types that have amenities such as beauty salons, hobby and art classes, games and outdoor activities, and even physical therapy.

AgingCare can help you to locate an adult day care center near you. Unfortunately, unless you have a really good long term health care plan, most of these services will be out of pocket expenses. Maybe you can find one that you can use on a once a week basis. Locating a service to come in and cook and plan meals will also take a huge burden off your shoulders.

Nourish
Find other people who are in your same situation. It helps to talk things out with others who are going through the same thing. Get out and laugh, cry, and feel better. Nourishing your spirit with love and laughter is every bit as important as nourishing your body with food. Your best source of making it through the juggernaut of elder care is the internet. Search, ask, connect. It really does take a village.