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A Guide of Taking Care of Yourself and Your Aging Parents

Here’s how to take care of yourself and your aging parents better so you can enjoy your remaining years together.

No matter how busy life gets, it’s imperative to take care of yourself. To make the most out of your time on this planet, you need to be in good physical shape. If your health suffers, it’s inevitable for those to-dos in your bucket list to get postponed, if not derailed entirely. Conversely, if your well-being is healthy and you can manage your work-life balance, you’ll be equipped to pursue all of your passions.

Now, if you have a family under your care, it becomes all the more important to look after yourself in the same way you want to look after them. Remember that you cannot extend proper help and guidance to another person if you haven’t figured out what’s best for you either.

Case in point: your relationship with your aging parents. Sometimes, you can get too caught up with your own life and your own aging that you forget your parents are no longer how they used to be. They likely need you now more than they ever did. Make sure that the remaining years you have with your aging parents are full of wonderful memories. Here are self-care recommendations to do for yourself and them, too.

Help with household duties

Make it a habit to communicate with your parents regularly. If you live nearby, make it a habit to visit them as often as you can. If you see that their living condition is not ideal, provide them with the help they need. Surely, you do not want your aging parents to live in an unkempt house they cannot manage. .

Now you might ask: how does this equate to self-care on my end? Well, you’ll be at peace knowing you are not neglecting your aging parents. Plus, while you visit to help with household chores, you can catch up with one another; not to mention, you may get to exercise.

Financial assistance

You may work hard and potentially earn more than enough for your own needs, so consider applying some of your savings to your aging parents’ care. If you’re too busy to visit and help with household chores, the next best option is to hire someone in your stead who can assist your parents in home management.

It also may not hurt to buy your aging parents their weekly groceries from time to time. That way, you can know they’re getting healthy foods.

Consider looking into their retirement funds, too, if only to see whether they got their needs covered. If not, and you’re able, consider extending a helping hand.

Strict adherence to vitamins or medicines schedule

You need to take your vitamins and medications if you have any prescribed by your physician. You cannot neglect your health. The minute it malfunctions, everything else may suffer, including your finances.

Look into your aging parents’ vitamins and medicine schedule, too. Yes, parents, especially the elderly, can be a little stubborn. They might try to avoid taking their medicine, so don’t let them. Check-in from time to time, or you may consult with their physician or nurse whenever you can.

Regular exercise

A healthy body is linked to a healthy lifestyle, and a healthy lifestyle comes with regular exercise. Make sure you get the weekly dose of exercise you need. It’s even better if you can have your aging parents join in on the fun.

When you exercise with your aging parents, you need to choose activities they can perform. That may include walking, tai-chi, or simple yoga. Whatever you choose, make sure you’re not inadvertently making it even harder for your elderly parents.

Healthy eating

This is another core concept when it comes to a healthy lifestyle. Ideally, your aging parents are consuming fresh, home-cooked food; ideally, you are too. So, why not turn this into another bonding opportunity?

If you’re busy the rest of the week, schedule a day to visit your aging parents’ house and cook them something healthy. You can even make large portions to spread out for the rest of the week like you are your parents’ meal prepper.

Now, if you have a family member under your care, it becomes all the more important to look after yourself in the same way you want to look after them. Remember that you cannot extend proper help and guidance to another person if you haven’t figured out what’s best for you either.

Mental health care

Another element of wellness is taking care of our mental health. Here, work-life balance is vital. The same goes for genuine human connections.

Take your parents to the movies once in a while or let them join you on a road trip. Whatever activity you think they will enjoy, have that planned, and push through with it at all costs. Your aging parents’ mental health will drastically improve if they get to pursue long-held passions despite their age and deteriorating bodies. Your mental health will benefit from these bonding moments, too.

Consider making it a habit to meditate, as well; if it’s something you can share with your aging parents, all the better.

Discussion of alternative living arrangements

There will come a time when your aging parents will need constant supervision and assistance. If that’s not something you can pull off, the next best alternative may be assisted living or senior care. This must be discussed with the utmost sensitivity, though. You might not be able to predict how your parents would react. But if it’s for everyone’s benefit, it must be done.

When you talk about senior care, thoroughly explain what makes this choice the most ideal for your aging parents.

Take care of yourself so you can care for others

In this world, nothing is permanent. The time comes when we will have to say goodbye to people we love; for instance, our aging parents.

However, that should not be a source of fear or tribulation. It’s a fact of life we have to contend with eventually and thus, must prepare for. To temper the heartbreak you might suffer from the loss, make sure you spend quality time with your parents while you still have the chance.

To do that, you need to be healthy. Your parents need to be as healthy as they can get, too, given the physical limitations brought about by aging. You may share a self-care routine with your parents and turn it into a bonding opportunity.

 

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Tina Castro

Tina Castro is an associate from Mountain Cove Care, a luxury senior care facility in Arizona. After working in hospice care for 3 years, she moved to Mountain Cove Care with a passion for advocating health and wellness to the community. In her spare time, she teaches yoga classes and goes on hiking trips.

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