May 18, 2024
aging parents

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“I want to reach my own goals and taking care of my aging parents was not a part of this.”

How many of us can get honest and say we have felt this way? 

Maybe you're still raising your own children and there's no more time in the day for your parents.

Or, maybe, you find that financially you can't do any more for your parents. Your children may need your help financially and you can't give anymore to anyone else. You work hard enough as it is. Some of us have two or three jobs and we wonder how long we're going to be able to keep up the pace.

All of this has us worried. How do we take care of aging parents and not get caught up in the overwhelming we see coming?

Well, the good news is you're not alone.

So many of us want to be there for our parents but we also have our own physical, emotional, and social needs that we want to be fulfilled.

We may have our own health conditions that we're dealing with or we need to promote better health within ourselves by taking care, taking time out, preserving our own independence, and letting our parents get on with their lives.

Then there's the conflict that we feel within us.

Where are our siblings and why are they not stepping up to the plate? 

But maybe we don't have any siblings and this is going to fall on us.

Yet our parents have their own ideas of how they want to walk through their golden years and we don't think it's safe for them to do so. this conflict of decisions makes us all feel vulnerable to the unknown.

Besides our own family dynamics, time constraints, emotional stress, and financial strain we have our parents' own health to worry about.

I get it. I saw so many sons and daughters coming into my office in tears because they didn't know what to expect, they feared the unknown, and they were already caught up in the belief that they were solely responsible for their parents.

They believed that they had no choice but to sacrifice their own needs for the sake of their parent's care. 

Yet I had others who told me that they were not qualified to take care of their parents, that they never had a good relationship with their parents in the first place, or maybe it was their sibling's responsibility.

This didn't stop them from feeling guilty. They wanted to keep their independence they didn't want anything to interfere with their own life and they felt that taking care of an aging parent meant they would disrupt their own plans goals and aspirations.

Can I let you in on a little secret?

 I spent years mad because my brothers did nothing to help my mom and we girls did all the work. All I really asked was for them to call Mom once a week and talk to her. It just seemed that the ones that never showed up were the ones that my mom wanted to spend more time with. They were the ones she missed the most.

And still, they didn’t call her. 

But then one day I realized this was not their problem, and this was not my mother's problem. This was really my problem. I had to look for the joy I felt taking care of my mom. I had to bathe in the reward that I knew what I was doing and that she was safe and happy.

I also knew that when she didn't express to me how she felt about her care in loving ways, that she really did appreciate me regardless of what I did or didn't do for her.  The best thing about all of this was that it released me from the negative feelings I had toward others and gave me an incredible sense of relief.

Sounds too good to be true?

Well, let's start with some common sense.

No one grows up thinking, “I can't wait to take care of Mom and Dad in their senior years.” No one grows up thinking, “Oh, I'm going to be the best family caregiver anybody ever saw.” 

And then that little voice inside our heads starts to worry…

It's the beginning…

We think driving Mom to the doctor's appointment is a one-time thing. 

We think making extra food and bringing it over today is a one-time thing. 

Maybe we've been known to help our parents out with their house by fixing the little things, cleaning up a little bit or even decluttering their home.

Oh, we think this is just a one-time thing. but is it?

There are six areas that you really want to do a deep dive into at the beginning stages of taking care of your aging parents.

  1. Their health and mobility are critical for longevity and their independence.
  2. Their memory loss, depression, and mental changes mean new decisions.
  3. Living in a safe and happy home keeps them engaged and fulfilled. 
  4. Arranging the financial and legal documents early aligns with their wishes and values.
  5. Setting your boundaries upfront supports your parents and siblings' schedules and calendars.
  6. Putting your needs and your own family’s needs first will avoid burnout.

For more information on these 6 goals, sign up to Join the Waitlist for the Senior Freedom Club.  I have a whole new book of super simple step-by-step instructions on how to handle each one of these categories so you are not caught off-guard.  It’s FREE to sign up and you are under no obligation. I’ll let you know when we open up our membership again.

The Senior Freedom Club™

(Join the waitlist)

The most comprehensive membership, for validating, planning, and implementing your healthy, organized, and balanced life. The Senior Freedom Club™ not only shows seniors exactly how to age like a Super Ager, but how to help family caregivers enjoy a healthy and balanced stress-free life while caring for their seniors. 

  •  Nail down your health journey
  • Engage your confidence to make this look easy
  • Develop schedules that work for you
  • Expertly steer senior legal, financial, and health issues like a pro
  • Leverage your time with these family strategies
  • Drum up energy and focus when you want it
  • Build peace within your own families
  • About the Author

    Hi, I'm Suzanne. My passion is creating working knowledge to well-informed, well-prepared seniors and their families so they may enjoy the later years with health, wealth, and happiness, I've helped over 10,000 patients, seniors and their famlies like yourselves do just that through my courses, eBooks, the Senior Freedom Club™, and in my physician assistant medical practice.

    HEALTH DISCLAIMER

    This blog provides general information and discussions about health and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this blog, or in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. If you or any other person has a medical concern, you should consult with your healthcare provider or seek other professional medical treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something that has been read on this blog or in any linked materials. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or emergency services immediately. The opinions and views expressed on this blog and website have no relation to those of any academic, hospital, health practice or other institution. Nor does this material constitute a provider-patient relationship between the reader and the author.

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