Caregiver For An Aging Parent ~ My Journey, My Experiences, My Guilt. The process yet continues...

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The trick, of course, is knowing how to respond to door-opening revelations that may shake us a bit. Lend a good ear. Ask open-ended questions. Avoid sarcasm. There really are some monumental things our aging mothers and fathers want us to know. These disclosures may improve our relationships with them -- and their lives. Either way, our job is to be non-reactive and supportive and remember that their confession is more about them than us.

Well, I love Dad more than you! Is there something else you want me to know? If their admission unleashes emotions that are too painful for you to process in the moment, tell them this hurts you or makes you uncomfortable. First of all, touch is a basic human need -- sex is often as much about the cuddling as it is about intercourse.

Perhaps your parent is revealing a deep loneliness.

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Second, seniors are often a lot friskier than we may imagine. And if you learn that the underlying emotion is loneliness, suggest things he or she might do to deal with that. This disrespectful behavior infantilizes our aging parents. Workers there have to recognize that even if someone needs help getting from one end of the room to the other, her brain might still be sharp and her feelings may be hurt if attendants and visitors make derogatory comments.

If your aging parents are still living on their own, help them feel more included. Our parents have a lifetime of experience and knowledge. At gatherings, encourage them to tell stories or give their opinions.

Guilt and Finding Balance

How can I help you forgive yourself? Let her know that you understand she probably felt unimaginable societal pressure. Or, if the subsequent conversation indicates she still thinks a lot about the child she might have had, suggest a different kind of therapy. It's wonderful that your parent has found fun way to be active -- and wants to share it with you. By the way, dance is a terrific form of therapy for seniors.

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Then everyone would've known how nutty this family was! If you do, you may want to tell your doctor -- or let me help you find a good psychotherapist. Sometimes, however, anxiety attacks dissipate when the triggers no longer exist. Your parent may be asking you for help or confiding something simply to let you know more about her inner life.

It may feel bothersome, but it is probably an expression of love.

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The divorce rate actually doubled between and and recently has been spiking among people over The one thing not to do in this circumstance is take sides. As our parents age, they are trying to be at peace with their lives. Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you.

When It's Time for a Nursing Home

As they get older, they often need to get some long-held things off their chest. Should I be doing more? These are important questions for a caregiver. The experts all talk about balance. How do we find the balance when we are so busy doing the things that upset the balance?

Home Away from Home: Relocating Your Parents | Family Caregiver Alliance

Here is the key: there is no magic answer. You may be searching for an answer that is elusive and forever changing. Our ability to handle all that comes our way changes over time just as the needs of others around us change over time. Sometimes, just when we think we have a handle on life, something changes and we have to start from scratch. Let me define my view of balance.

I believe we achieve balance when we meet our own needs as well as the needs of those who depend on us. What are our needs? Needs can be physical our general health , emotional happiness, joy, love , and material housing, clothing. Some may want to add spiritual needs as paramount in their lives as well. Are caregivers meeting their own needs?

I never wanted my parents to go into a care home – then I had to face reality

Caregivers often neglect their yearly check-ups although they would never skip one for their loved ones. Caregivers often put aside their own emotions as they devote their energy to their loved one.

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  • Caregivers put off buying themselves new clothes, or items needed because it is so hard to get to a store by yourself and for yourself. How do we create a system to ensure that caregivers and their loved ones both have their needs met? I suggest keeping an accounting of sorts so that care you provide for another can be matched with care you provide for yourself.

    You can start with a journal and divide each page in half. Did you help your loved one in the shower? Did you take the time to take a shower yourself today? If yes, then list it on the side with your name. If you enjoyed a nice lunch with your mother today, you can list it on both sides. If you prepared her lunch but never sat down yourself to eat, then your side will run a deficit.

    The activities you are writing down do not have to match perfectly. For example, you may have played cards with your father for his enjoyment.

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    However, if this is not relaxing or enjoyable to you personally, you cannot put in on your side of the page. In this case, you need to find a source of relaxation that you can put on your side. For example, maybe you read for 30 minutes before going to bed. This may be your source of relaxation. Not all your activities or the time invested in each will add up equally. In many circumstances, there are not enough hours in the day to devote to yourself as you devote to others.

    However, the goal is to try and create a day that is shared with the one you love, not dominated by your caregiving. You will become more experienced at this as you practice.