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When Should You Become the Parent to your Aging Parent?

Tips for Caring for Aging Seniors in Austin, Texas

Many adult children have made the decision to care for their aging parents either part-time or full-time. In cities like Austin, TX, one of the more popular destinations for assisted living and senior retirement communities, thanks to the advancements in medicine and technology, it isn't uncommon to see people live in into their 90s and even 100s. Yet the quality of life doesn't always run at the same pace, leaving many seniors with chronic conditions like memory loss, cognitive impairments and mobility issues that require varying levels assisted personalized care. When an adult child takes on the role of caregiver, they often feel like they are now becoming a parent to their parent, especially when the senior parent requires help doing basic things, like cooking, bathing, dressing and other simple cognitive processes.

Remember, You are Not a Parent to Your Parent.

If you start feeling like you are your parent's parent, your behavior can become very frustrating to them, because you make decisions without consulting their parent's wishes. The truth is, you are not raising your parent. You may be a necessary place a financial, physical and emotional provision, but it's important to keep communication open and always consider your parent's wishes and desires for issues related to them. This doesn't mean, however, that your parent, who may be living with you, is your boss.

Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.

Often an aging parent can feel frustrated from being in a new environment and feel a loss of a sense of control and the comfort of being in a place they are used to controlling. They may begin barking orders and treating you like their child. They may have raised you but that doesn't mean that they're the boss. Setting clear guidelines will help alleviate and prevent relational issues in these types of situations. Your parent, despite having increased impairment, may still see you as a little child and struggle with relinquishing control or decision-making to you. Again, it's important to stress the value of constant communication. Communicate your expectations, desires, frustrations and more. It may be uncomfortable for either of you, but it will have a better result than if you both hold it in.

Is also important to note that someone suffering from dementia may not always remember you or see you even as their child. They may forget important milestones and special memories and moments you both shared. Your parent, in this case, may not be able to fulfill the role that you had hoped they would at this stage of your life. Communicate while they are coherent.

It may be difficult to admit, but your aging parent could be at or approaching the place of needing more advanced care than you can provide them. Assisted living communities in Austin, especially the ones that offer help with memory care, may be a great option for you to consider. Visiting an Austin assisted living facility, like Barton Hills Assisted Living, is a good place to begin your search. Look for one with a great dining plan, homestyle environment, caring staff, and a vibrant social life.

Posted by Barton Hills Elderly Care in Austin on 3/23/2017

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