When Caring For An Aging Parent Becomes Difficult
Your parents raise and care for you while you are young and have been a part of your entire life. So
when your aging parents start needing assistance from you, it’s natural for a child to devote themselves
at least in part to providing that care. However, this can be unexpectedly difficult, especially when a
parent has medical condition such as Alzheimer's disease or dementia. To best cope with these
difficulties, there are some steps you can take to prepare yourself and alleviate stress.
Step 1: Reach out for assistance.
An aging parent with a mind altering medical condition may require more care than you are able to
give. If you are the sole caregiver, you should be ready to reach out to others and ask for help. Whether
it is from family members, friends of your parents, or professionals, finding someone to assist you or
least talk to you about your concerns can be a great source of comfort.
Step 2: Change what you expect from your parents.
Medical conditions that affect your parent's mind will necessarily alter your relationship and how you
and your parent interact. You can no longer expect that your efforts will be greeted with gratitude and
thanks. Quite the contrary, your parent may react suspiciously or have emotional outbursts that are
unlike anything you may have experienced before. Try to understand that the disease is altering your
parent's brain, and even if your parent feels normal, the understanding that he or she is going through
this change can be very frightening.
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