It might only start becoming clearer over time. You might notice your mom cannot remember ingredients of her famous lasagne dish that she knows by heart. Or your dad seems frailer than you can remember. In some cases, it might happen quickly. Your mom fell in the shower and broke her hip, therefore requires special care. It might be temporary, but the prognosis is uncertain. Whichever scenario happens, once you start realizing that your parents are not longer independent and healthy adults, the idea may be overwhelming. Here are a few tips on how to cope with the emotional stress of a declining parent.
Be Prepared For Unexpected Emotions
It is never easy watching your parent’s health decline and your emotions will play rollercoaster with you. These feelings are normal and being prepared for them might help you with dealing better with them. Fear might set in when you watch your once independent and strong parent becoming dependent on others. You might also experience sadness and even a sense of loss when their help keeps deteriorating. Other times you might feel frustrated, or angry with yourself, and even guilty for not being able to do more than is possible. Most caregivers go through feelings of pressure and guilt all the time, especially if this was not part of their original plan and not something they have foreseen for the future. Even if you are not the main caregiver, you still have some responsibility in your parent’s wellbeing and Home Care Assistance regime as a family member or child. Try to control whatever you can and let go of what you cannot accomplish.
Be Aware Of Your Limits
Avoid taking on too much that you are not capable of handling. Knowing how and when to ask for help can make all the difference. If you feel overextended, stress and frustration will soon settle in. this can place your relationships with your family and parent under strain.
It can be hard sometimes to admit you’re in over your head and it’s hard to accept or ask for help when you are taking care of a declining parent. However, it helps to have a list of smaller tasks that others can assist you with if they offer their assistance. You must take breaks in between and take care of yourself as well.
Celebrate Their Life
Instead of emphasizing on your parent’s decline, instead celebrate what they can do. Plan outings or events that is not strenuous that you can do with them. Take them out for lunch and talk about their life. Even a trip to the grocery store or a relaxing lunch in the backyard can do wonders. Most people who have lost their parents often say that they would give anything just to have one more day with their parents or have a conversation with them one more time. You have the opportunity while they are still in your life. Ask them questions about themselves and their lives. Your parent’s health conditions are beyond your control, however being there for them and spending time with them is within your control and it means more to them than you will ever know.