It’s scary when you start to realize that you are no longer the child in your family and that it’s time for you to start taking care of your parents as they get older. This can seem overwhelming, especially if you have no idea where to start, but take a breath and collect your thoughts. Although you’re unfamiliar with the process, remember that you are not the first person who has gone through it and there are resources for people in your position.
Signs That Your Parents Need Extra Help
A lot of the time, especially if you have siblings, it can get sticky. People tend to be in denial, insisting that Mom and Dad are perfectly fine and that it’s just been a rough couple of months for them. If there’s a battle brewing, here are some surefire signs that your parent or parents need more help than you can give them:
- Forgetfulness, especially about super-important things. If they forget a birthday, that’s one thing, but if they forget about the noodles boiling on the stove then that’s a safety hazard.
- Uncleanliness, whether that means that their home is starting to look messy, they no longer think to bathe or shower or some combination of both.
- Escalating or special needs that you can no longer fulfill on your own.
Your parents might need some help getting around, but that doesn’t always mean that it’s time for a nursing home with a round-the-clock support coordinator. You might also consider:
- A visiting nurse to come by as needed to check on meals and medications.
- Assisted living facilities that help residents but still allow them to retain much of their independence.
- Adult daycare to keep their minds and social skills honed.
Discovering that you’re the adult and that your parents are now the elders can be humbling and jarring at the same time. It’s not easy to admit that they are aging, but taking great care of them is part of being a good child to Mom and Dad.