Caring for Aging Parents as a Busy Mom

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Mothers are the ultimate caregivers, with years of practical experience. However, depending on the generational divide, it’s not uncommon for some moms to have to juggle parenting while caring for their ailing parents.

While there are many ways for a busy mom to juggle everything, it’s more important to stress the fact that she shouldn’t always have to. Here are some tips for caring for aging parents as a busy mom.

Research Assisted Living Facilities

For a nurturer, the idea of moving an aging parent to an assisted living facility can be a difficult decision. However, in many cases, this is an alternative that’s better for everyone. Furthermore, researching assisted living options doesn’t necessarily mean that’s the route you’ll go, just that you’ll be prepared and on a waitlist ahead of time.

Using a third-party service like the Seniorly assisted living marketplace can provide valuable breakdowns of what you should be looking for in a facility, as well as make recommendations of facilities that fit your needs in an unbiased manner. Sometimes as a mom– and as a child– you’ll need to prioritize safety and well-being over your expectations.

Take Time for Self-Care

Taking time for self-care is important, especially as a parent. It becomes even more so when you take on an additional caretaker role. Self-care doesn’t need to include a trip to the spa or an elaborate routine. It could be something as simple as finding an extra hour to have coffee at your favorite cafe while reading a true crime novel or dancing around your kitchen while everyone else is out.

As a caregiver, you’ll likely find yourself in the role of advocate for your aging parents. You need to be able to advocate for yourself as well. Designate someone to be your support person and help offset the burden of constantly giving yourself to others. Caring for the caregiver is essential to prevent stress and burnout.

Encourage an Active Social Life

Promoting an active social life will help prevent your aging parents from feeling isolated while relieving some of the burden you may experience. Staying active in community gardening clubs, senior lunches and card parties, and similar events will help them maintain a network and a sense of purpose separate from their family.

Don’t hesitate to be an active member of their social life. Take them on outings and enjoy the quality time you get together. It may not be your first choice for spending your free time, but the memories you create will be treasured when your parents are gone.

Get the Kids Involved

Caring for aging parents can present valuable lessons to their grandchildren, especially those who are younger. Open yourself to answering their questions, and take this opportunity to improve their emotional intelligence, compassion, and empathy. It’s an opportunity to learn about how the world has changed and hear stories about their roots.

When things get difficult, it can be tempting to shield children from the situation. While the conversations you feel comfortable having with your kids are a personal choice, having as much transparency as possible while addressing things in an age-appropriate manner can have lasting positive impacts.

Make Technology Their Friend

Many aging people, particularly in the Baby Boomer generation, aren’t as tech-savvy as those in younger generations who have experienced a larger portion of their life with tech in hand. By taking the time to get your aging parents more comfortable with using technology, you open a world of opportunity for them and for you.

Being able to use video messaging is a great way to stay in touch if distance becomes a factor in your relationship. For example, if the assisted living facility you choose isn’t close enough to visit often. Additionally, being able to operate a smartphone will allow you to keep in touch if you’re in a caregiver role while working.

The most important part of caring for aging parents as a busy mom is communication. Keep communication open with your parents, your partner, and your children as you navigate this challenging-yet-rewarding phase of your life.

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