Many families today are adjusting their lives to care for not only their children but also their aging parents. While it can present challenges, there are ways to do both.
Meeting With the Family
Before you bring your elderly parent into the home, it’s important to have a talk with every member of your immediate family and explain the situation, especially if you have teens. Taking in an older person can restrict their lives by creating additional responsibilities for you that can prevent you from having a lot of free time. Letting everyone know that you love them and that their grandparent needs help and assistance will make them feel better and give them an understanding as to why this person needs to live in the home.
Many people who bring an elderly parent into the home feel the need to do everything. They tend to the children, their spouse, and their parent. However, what’s missing is the lack of care for themselves. Unfortunately, it’s only a matter of time before you become overwhelmed and stressed out. Instead of trying to do everything by yourself, solicit the help of others. Speak with your spouse and divide up the workload. If your children are involved in sports or other after-school activities, take turns driving them to and from practice and attending games. It’s also beneficial to ask your children to pitch in by keeping their rooms in order and helping out with other chores around the home.
Reduce the Risk of Injury
Most homes are not set up to accommodate an elderly person. And, if they have limited mobility and spend many hours in a wheelchair or a Zinger chair, making a few modifications to your home is a priority. Decluttering the main living space, removing area rugs, and removing obstacles away from the entrance into each room will allow them to move about the area easily and when walking, will help to reduce the risk of a possible slip and fall. Outside, installing a ramp will make it easy for your parent to come and go freely.
Adjusting Your Schedule
Running a household with children is difficult on its own. However, now you have an older parent who needs assistance too. The best way to experience some sort of peace is to create a schedule. A weekly schedule will enable you to keep track of school functions, homework, doctor’s appointments, medications, and food shopping. The schedule can also include days to do laundry, dust, and vacuum so that you stay on top of all the necessary home duties, as well as your family’s needs.
Unite the Family
Having an aging parent in the home can bring family unity too. If it’s your mother and she has certain talents and skills, she can pass her knowledge onto you and your children. For example, cooking her favorite dish and having the kids help with the prep work or teaching the children how to knit, crochet, or cross-stitch. If your parent is of sound mind and just has a slight reduction in mobility, it also means that once the kids are in bed you and your spouse can enjoy an evening out.
You didn’t plan to have a family and an aging parent living under the same roof. However, that’s what happened. Now, the only way to keep things running smoothly is to make the best of the situation. Keep your life functioning the same as much as possible. While you do have an elderly person to care for, you will adjust to it and with the help of others in your family, you can co-exist.
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