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Are You Caring for an Aging Parent? What Advice Would You Give Us?

By Sixty and Me December 30, 2015 Caregiving

As many women in the Sixty and Me community know, caring for an aging parent is a difficult, often emotional process. While some of us are lucky enough to have parents that stay healthy and mobile, others are not so fortunate.

Caring for an Aging Parent Presents Unique Challenges

As our parents reach their 80s and 90s, many of us are forced to make difficult decisions about whether to move them to an assisted living facility. Even if our parents are able to age in place, they almost certainly require more of our time and attention than ever before.

Even more tragic are the situations in which we have to watch one or more of our parents suffering from a chronic illness. During these times, it’s easy to feel alone. This is why it’s so important for us to support our Sixty and Me sisters. We can share our stories, give each other advice and even lend a helping hand.

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to post some more specific questions about caring for an aging parent. For now, I just wanted to open this topic up for discussion. If you are caring for one of your parents, please join the conversation below.

Are you caring for an aging parent? How has the experience been for you? What advice would you like to get from the other members of our community? Let’s get a conversation started!

Update! Here’s Your Advice on Caring for an Aging Parent

When I asked this question, I knew that I was entering into emotional territory. Few things in life can be as worthwhile, or as difficult, as caring for an aging parent.

So many women responded to this question, giving details of their personal situation and offering advice to their Sixty and Me sisters. Perhaps, most importantly, they offered hope to the many women who are just starting out as caregivers.

I was pleased to see that most of the advice offered by the women in our community was positive and constructive. I was also happy to see so many women reaching out and offering a helping hand to others. Sometimes, when we are going through difficult times, all we need is someone to listen. You continue to inspire me every day with your generosity, wisdom and basic human kindness.

Beyond lending emotional support, the women in our community also offered practical advice. Here are 10 themes that came up multiple times in the discussion.

Keep Positive

Be patient and loving. Remember that your situation is hard for your aging parents as well.

Establish Good Communication

Get a consensus on important issues with your parents and siblings.

Anticipate Legal Issues

Encourage your parents to take care of personal and financial “unfinished business.”

Forgive Yourself

Be gentle with yourself. Remember that it is normal to feel anger or resentment. It’s ok.

Take Care of the Basics

Keep track of your parent’s medical issues and get educated about specific illnesses.

Take Time for Yourself

Your needs should not be secondary. Put your own oxygen mask on first!

Don’t Overdo Things

Don’t commit to more than you can handle. Don’t put your own health at risk.

Agree on Shared Responsibilities

Decide who will take care of what in your family. Ask the hard questions!

Pamper Yourself

Don’t sacrifice your own passions and relationships. Take time to enjoy your life!

Get Educated

Research the 5 stages of grieving, written by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross.

If you are looking for additional support, the following two articles may help.

How to Be a Caregiver While Taking Care of Your Own Life

Caring for Someone with Alzheimer’s

Please join the conversation below.

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The Author

Sixty and Me is a community of over 500,000 women over 60 founded by Margaret Manning. Our editorial team publishes articles on lifestyle topics including fashion, dating, retirement and money.

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