Caring for an aging parent seems daunting. You’re switching roles. You’re now going to be acting like a parent to your parent as you remind them to take their medicine, shower and dress, and brush their teeth. It may seem overwhelming, but there are steps that ensure you experience joyful moments together.
Get Outside Together
Time in nature can help improve your mood. Spend 30 minutes every day walking outside on a nature trail or in a city park. Ideally, you want a park or trail that offers a mix of things in nature that are known to help reduce stress.
Birds singing in the trees, the warmth of the sun, the sound of water flowing, and the scent of flowers are all important. Get outside on rainy days, too. If it’s warm enough, don’t be afraid to splash in puddles and feel the rain on your face.
When you’re helping out at your parents’ house, be upbeat. Put on music you all enjoy and do the work to a beat. Don’t be shy. Sing and dance and get your parents to join in.
Music is also a good way to break a parent out of a sad or irritated mood. Put on some music they’ll know and see how their mood changes.
Don’t Feel Guilty Taking Breaks
Take breaks when you need to. If you need a day off to run errands, take that day. If you want to go out with friends, go out for dinner or plan a night together at someone’s home where you watch movies and share a bottle of wine or some beers.
If you have children at home, you could take a day off to do something fun with them. Bring your parents, too. Take everyone to a science museum or aquarium. It helps you de-stress and has the entire family enjoying quality time together.
Let Caregivers Handle Difficult Tasks
If you hire caregivers to help with the tasks that tend to most frustrate you or your parents, it takes some of the weight off your shoulders. You’re not the person your parent will be frustrated with. When the caregiver has helped them shower and get dressed, you can be the one doing something fun. It helps buffer you from seeing your parents angry, sad, or frustrated.
Call our home care representative and arrange for caregiver services. Go through a list of services that will help your mom and dad. Choose the ones that you want to help them with. Hire caregivers for everything else.