Having a senior parent or loved one who needs daily elderly care while living at home can be a difficult situation for many family caregivers responsible for their well-being. Keeping up with household chores and maintenance, bills, health appointments and errands, as well as medications and medical procedures can take a lot out of a person, especially when they are trying to manage their own family and household at the same time.
It is important to set clear boundaries with your senior parent or loved one and stick to them, which will help lesson any tension and cut down on resentment, as well as hopefully allowing you to have a life of your own aside from your parent.
Following these guidelines will help you get clear about what you want and give you the confidence to assert your new boundaries with your parent, which will allow you to continue giving them the elderly care help that they need while giving you the time and space that you need to thrive as well.
Know when to say no.
It is vital that you recognize times when your gut feelings are telling you one thing, but your mind and mouth say something else. If there is something that you do not have the time, experience, energy, or strength to do for your senior parent, it is okay to say no. If saying no will help you with your own mental health, it is important that you honor yourself and your feelings, and know that there are other options for getting your parent the help that they may need if you cannot do it yourself.
Give yourself some space.
No one can take care of another person when they are suffering themselves. If you have a senior parent that seems to be crossing the lines with you verbally, emotionally, or physically, you need to give yourself some space away from them in order to reset your mind and allow your body the rest that it needs.
Create a schedule and stick to it.
Another great way to help you set boundaries, but just as important, to stick with them, is to create a calendar or schedule and don’t budge from it. Many seniors like consistency, and they also want to have you there as much as possible. Create a large calendar that they can keep in plain sight that shows exactly then they can expect you and what you plan to do while you are there. Let them know that you will only be coming to their home during the scheduled times, and stick to it as much as possible so you can develop a routine and solid expectations.
Hire professional help.
If you are reading this and feeling like there is no way to take a break and get away, no way to assert yourself and say no to your parent, and no way to change the routine and stick with it, then it may be time to hire professional services to come in and help take over at least some aspects of their elderly care.