Tips for Taking Care of Elderly Parents

Even the government website,  has ramped up efforts to help family caregivers. I find this significant, since during my early days of caregiving the average doctor was very ready to dismiss the opinion of a family caregiver, or even considered the caregiver a nuisance. Certainly no government site was out to support the caregivers of our elderly and disabled.



So, yes, there is help out there. But where do you start? You must begin to plan if you are not going to undermine your own health while you care for others.

Setting Boundaries

Setting boundaries has never come naturally to me when it comes to someone I love. Yet, I had to learn and so must you. If caregivers have no boundaries and just blindly do whatever is asked of them at all times, they may burnout before they know what's happening.

Healthy emotional boundaries are important in helping the caregiver distinguish between his or her own needs and the needs of the person being cared for. Boundaries remind you and your loved one that your relationship is between two adults and that there need to be expectations of mutual respect and autonomy for the relationship to be successful. set boundaries and make them clear.

Be Flexible as You Settle In

If you've been in crisis mode, after the crisis settles down and you've figured out some kind of care plan you will likely need to tweak your boundaries. Naturally, if your dad has another stroke, you're not going to say, "I'm done for the day. Someone else handle this." Life happens. However, even long-term caregiving will shift as life moves forward and the care receiver's needs increase. This is the time when, if you haven't done so before, you'll likely need to get outside help.
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