It’s one thing to have a small child or teenager to look after, but it’s quite another to have to look after your own parent, too. Having two duties of care can make you feel like you have the world on your shoulders. However, it’s important that you don’t double the pressure you place on yourself. Seeking for help and guidance during this time will help you be there for both your child and parent as much as you physically and mentally can be.
Don’t strive for perfection
It’s so hard to remove yourself from the situation and look at yourself from the outside, but how other people will see you is sometimes quite revealing. If you were your own friend or a passer-by, would you not have absolute sympathy and encouragement for someone in your position? This is why you should not berate yourself for not being the perfect mother or care-giver. You are trying your best, and that is all other people will see.
Communicate with other relatives
You may need support, and if you have close relatives nearby, they may need to aid you with both childcare and looking after your parent. Your own life is happening in tandem while you look after your child and extended family, and if it’s possible to do so, finding help will let you breathe a little.
Consider a care home
There may come a point when you are no longer able to give the level of care you want, which can be hard to acknowledge. However, when it comes to something like dementia, real medical care is needed, and a care home can provide this. Experienced and established residential homes such as those at bristolcarehome.co.uk are the best options to consider first as they have decades of knowledge behind them.
Should they live with me?
This could certainly be an option for you, but that will very much depend on their condition and how you feel. For example, if they are seriously ill, them living in your home may very well be a temporary phase before moving onto a home. You may want them to move in regardless for your own peace of mind and as a way of saying thank you for all the years of support that they’ve provided for you.
Know that no relationship is perfect
If you’re worried that you are not in an ideal position to care for your parent, particularly if you didn’t have the perfect relationship to begin with, remember that there is no such thing as the perfect relationship between a parent and child. In fact, it’s said that this in itself does not necessarily make you a good or bad carer. Remember that you are doing this out of the goodness of your heart and that any past arguments or tricky patches are irrelevant to the current situation.
When it comes to looking after one of your parents, support is the key pillar that needs to be in place to help you succeed. Whether it’s a care home that can help them in later life or a friend that can listen to you vent, it is important to remember you are not in this alone.