It’s strange when your parents start to get older and less capable of caring for themselves. What you can find is that there’s a role reversal, and you’re suddenly taking care of them instead of them taking care of you. You have to take on the “responsible adult” position, looking out for their needs and helping to keep them safe. However, at the same time, you don’t want to treat them like they’re the child and you’re the parent. Balancing the care that they might need with respecting them as your parents can be difficult but it’s often necessary.
There are a few different ways you can find the typical parent and child roles are reversed when your parents get older. If you know how to navigate them, you can make things easier for everyone.
You Have to Remind Them to Do Things
Some people can start to get forgetful or a little scatter-brained as they get older. While some older people might be diagnosed with dementia or another condition affecting their memory, others simply experience a slight decline in their memory as they age. You can find yourself having to remind your parents to do things such as pay the bills or go to the doctor. But you don’t want to sound like you’re parenting them or nagging them. You can try to work together to develop systems for remembering things to make it more of a team effort.
You Need to Find Them Appropriate Care
Your parents might need some extra care to help them with various things. They could need assistance with personal care, cooking and cleaning, getting around, and more. You might choose to provide some of that care yourself, but it can also be necessary to look for outside support. Finding the right care provider is tricky when you worry about making an appropriate and safe choice. If anything does go wrong with a care provider, you can find a nursing home abuse lawyer at your service to help you out. But no one wants things to come to that if they can help it. You should research any care providers thoroughly to make sure you select the right one.
You Need to Have Big Talks
Parents have to have a number of big conversations on sensitive subjects when their children are growing up. But when your parents get older, you might find that you have to have some talks with them in return. You can discover that you have to help your parents navigate the modern world or protect them from certain scenarios. You might have to discuss things such as how to stay safe online, how to avoid getting scammed out of their money, and how to tell if someone is taking advantage of them. The best way to approach these conversations is to try and do so on a level playing field to avoid treating your parents like children.
You Help Them with Socializing
Helping your parents with socializing is one of the things you can find yourself doing as they get older. Just like they once might have helped you to arrange playdates, you might start helping to ensure they remain connected to society and have the social support that they need. Of course, you can provide them with a certain amount of socializing. But you might also help them to get out and meet people or socialize in different ways. Loneliness can be a big problem for many older people, but you can help to combat it.
You Arrange Your Work Around Them
When your parents need some extra support, you can end up having to schedule your work and other aspects of your life around them. This is especially true if you provide part-time or even full-time care for one or both of your parents. Some people even give up work to help care for their parents. It can be tough to do this but it may be necessary if you want to provide for your parents.
You Keep Them Safe
Your parents probably did a lot to keep you safe when you were younger, even if you didn’t see it that way. However, now you can find yourself needing to keep them safe in a number of ways. You might need to ensure their home is safe and that they’re safe from people treating them badly. It’s not always easy to keep them safe when they want to remain independent, but you can work with them to ensure they’re as safe as possible.
The role reversal that happens with older parents can be strange and hard to navigate, but it’s often a necessary part of getting older.