At some point in everyone’s life, they go through a life experience that bridges from adult to caregiver, for the health of their parents. This transition is called role reversal and can take quite a toll on both adults and parents alike. However, it’s important to know that well over 44 million adults care for their parents, according to Parent Giving.
Here are some ways you can better manage your role reversal and reduce the stress that comes with it.
1. Plan Your Limits
Unfortunately, you’re not limitless, it’s important to determine and plan your limits during your role reversal. This involves taking better care of your finances, deciding when and how long you plan to visit your parents, as well as moving your parents out of their home.
2. Respect Your Parent’s Wishes
As much as you have to respect what your parents want, you also have to look for some things they can live without such as dealing with finances or being healthier. This conversation may not be the happiest conversation to have, but important nonetheless. Perhaps your parent would prefer home care packages. When in doubt, remember to respect your parent’s wishes and take their consideration into respect.
3. Work on Healing
As nice as it can be to spend time with your parents, it can also be a struggle due to their old age. Try to approach and hurtful situations with ease and consult a therapist or friend, if necessary.
The more developed in role reversal you come, the more you become parents yourselves. No matter how badly pained you may feel from taking care of your parents, remember the importance of doing it. After all, when you get to be their age, your kids will go through the same experience.
4. Ask Your Family For Help
Usually, a single sibling is assigned to caregiver duties, but the whole family can pitch in to help. The worst thing you can do is try to maintain all the responsibilities yourself. You must realize that there are important decisions to be made that are the whole family’s responsibility. These choices are best discussed before there is an actual emergency. Gather everyone together and have a frank discussion about what you are going to do when these crisis situations arise. It is crucial to plan ahead and have this sort of discussion now.
5. Keep Everything in Perspective
As your parent gets older, their needs will change. This situation is not easy for anyone involved, which makes it very easy to become annoyed and frustrated. Keep in mind that both you and your parent are going through the process together. Though it may be stressful for you, you should keep in mind that it is stressful for your parent as well. While it is alright to be upset, you should be cognisant of your parent’s needs as well. They may struggle to accept care or depend entirely on someone else in their later years. Keep in mind that there are just as many struggles for your parent to deal with as you have to deal with.