Your mom and dad were always your caregivers but suddenly life has came full circle. Caring for aging parents can be extremely overwhelming. It is heart wrenching to see your parents slowly devoured by an illness. There are many different emotions and reactions people experience when confronted with this responsibility. It can feel extremely awkward when you become the caregiver to your parents. The process of feeding, bathing and supervising your parents can seem particularly abnormal not only for the caregiver but for the parent as well. The circumstance of exchanging roles with your parents produces a great deal of family dynamics which are very unfamiliar.
This role reversal may happen over time or suddenly in the case of an unexpected medical issue or accidents. The most common reasons for this role exchange include medical issues or mental incapacity. The parent my live in close proximity to you or even with you but the responsibility of caring for another person can be stressful, extremely time consuming and sometimes difficult.
Managing the care for your parents often times places you in the position of have to provide direction. Often times, taking directions for one’s child is not easy for a parent to handle. The feeling of loosing control over your own life and body is very difficult for anyone and in an effort to maintain a sense of control, inappropriate actions can be demonstrated. Stubbornness or lack of cooperation is a common action and often manifest from the frustration or depression your parent may be experiencing. Not unlike anyone else, having your rights and privileges taken away is a difficult to accept and needs to be handled with grace and dignity.
The child who is accustomed to receiving advice and instructions from the parent; often finds themselves in the position of having to make very difficult decisions. Taking away privileges and rights of a parent is an incredibly difficult task. Taking away one’s driving rights or adding grab bars and alarms throughout one’s house is often considered obtrusive and controlling. The simplest tasks such as wiping the food off your parents chin can bring tears to your eyes.
Both the parent and the caregiver are under a great deal of stress. The parent may be aware of their limited abilities and worry about the burden on their family. The child worries about giving the parent all the care they need in the most comfortable environment as possible. Many times the effects of stress manifest themselves in both obvious and non obvious manners. It is imperative to recognize the signs and symptoms of stress and to make every effort to distinguish them as quickly as possible.
As the caregiver it is extremely important to recognize the importance in maintaining both mental and physical health while providing assistance. Try to find something to smile or laugh about every day. Don't overlook or disregard what your own body is...