Growing up, children look at their parents with love, admiration, and respect. They never imagine that they will be in the position of parenting their parents someday. While many adults maintain complete independence long into their golden years, an equally large group require at-home care. If you have recently found yourself reversing roles with your aging parent, Polaris Home Care of Santa Clara wants to encourage you with the support and information included in this post. Continue reading to see what your parents need from you. If you realize that you will need personal home-care for your parents, please call us for your free in-home consultation.
Help Them Maintain Independence
One of the first things that you need to remember is that your parent desperately wants to maintain their independence. There is a distinct difference between caring about your parent, and caring for them. While you may not realize it, caring for someone communicates a need for this care on their part. If you have been caring for your parent, while you have the best intentions, you are inadvertently making them feel as if they are not capable of living independently. A simple way to distinguish between whether you are caring about your parents, or caring for them, is to ask yourself this question, “Do I visit so that I can spend time with them, or simply to make sure everything is okay?” Assuming that you know what is best for them can easily add tension into the relationship.
One way to help make sure that you are staying on the right side of the line of caring about/caring for is to assess your words and actions for the level of respect that they communicate. Your parents are still adults with their own opinions and ways of doing things. Just because you think something is a problem doesn’t mean that it is. Resist the urge to jump in and fix what you perceive to be a problem. Open a line of communication with them about your concern, and get their input. The resulting conversation will help you to better assess whether there is a legitimate concern, or whether they are just handling something differently from how you would. By starting with a conversation before jumping to conclusions and inserting yourself, you have found an excellent way to demonstrate your respect for your parents.
It is hard to admit to ourselves that the parent in front of us is not the same person as the parent we had as a child. When we were young, our parents were amazing human beings who seemed to have the answers to all of life’s problems. As adults, however, we see them through clearer lenses, and we don’t always like what we see. Their strengths and frailties, their likes and dislikes, their opinions and beliefs might bother us or even cause concern for us. It is important to respond to the person they are now, not the person we remember, or perhaps wish they still were. Try to avoid falling back into unhealthy family patterns of relating; you are no longer a child.
Bob Marley and Bobby McFerrin both encouraged all of us with, “don’t worry, be happy”. While the lyrics are pleasant, they are sometimes easily dismissed as well. However simple they may seem, there is truth in them. If you are a parent yourself, you know that you want your kids to be happy in their lives. Your parents also wanted this for you when you were young, and they still want the same thing for you — to be happy for them, not to worry about them. When we know that other people are worried about us, it can become a heavy burden. Work toward finding a balance between caring about your parents, but not dwelling in worry. Believe it or not, your happiness provides joy in your parents’ lives.
Polaris Home Care knows that there are many challenges for adults facing the role reversal of caring for their aging parents. We provide quality, personalized home-care services throughout Santa Clara county. We hope that you were able to glean some helpful insights from this article. If you are wondering whether at-home care is the right answer for your parents, please call us today for your free in-home consultation. Let us help you care for your parents.