Today I am pleased to welcome a guest blogger on ‘The Purple Jacket’ , Fiona Jameson.
Tips on Effectively Balancing your Professional Life and Caring for Your Aging Parents
There comes a time in life when you will need to help care for your aging parents. While many aging people prefer to maintain their independence as much as possible, most will welcome the help. It will be hard with your busy professional life and family of your own, but with a little help and a few tips the balancing act will be easier to accomplish. When the aid that your aging parents needs is more than you are able to provide, respite care may be the best answer.
Move your Parents into your Home
In some cases, it is easier to help your parents and maintain their independence as much as possible is to move them in with you. This may mean purchasing a new house, making a few renovations or updating a few things to make it comfortable for them. When aging parents live with their children and their families, someone is around a good amount of the time to help them with their needs.
Schedule Meal Deliveries
Several meal delivery services and private chefs can be accessed to ensure that your aging parents eat balanced meals. If you do not have a work schedule that coincides with their eating schedule, having meals delivered to them daily, or even weekly, will provide them with that nutrition. All they will have to do is warm up the items in the microwave or in the oven and it is ready to eat.
Consider Assisted Living Situations
In order to help your parents maintain a good amount of their independence, ask them to consider moving to an assisted living community. Here they will have access to medical staff in case of an emergency and can get assistance with cleaning, laundry and other items if needed. These communities are safe areas with many having security cameras and entrance gates. Within these communities are other aging persons that your parents can bond with.
Visiting your parents can be done anytime you’d like, since the living areas are like them having an apartment of their own. It is one of the easier ways to manage their care and be able to help them with things like getting to doctor’s appointments, grocery shopping and picking up medication. It will be less stressful for you since worrying about their well-being will be less of a burden.
Look into Hiring a Caregiver
If you have spoken with your parents and they refuse to move into your home or consider an assisted living situation, offer to help find a caregiver that can come daily, or a few times per week. This can be someone to come in and clean, cook meals or just provide companionship. A caregiver can also drive your parents to appointments, activities, entertainment, grocery shopping and anywhere else they need or want to go. It helps both you and your parents. The weekends, of course, should be the time when you take time away from work to spend with your parents helping them with maintenance, talking and whatever else they might want to do.
Spend Weekends Helping Them
When your professional life doesn’t leave time for you to visit and help your aging parents as much as you’d like, be sure to set time aside on the weekends for them. If they are still living in their own home, cut the grass in the summer months and help maintain flower beds, vegetable gardens and their home. While it may seem like having a second job, a few hours a day on the weekends makes all the difference in the world. They spent their lives raising you and your siblings, it’s now the job of the children to help take care of them. It shows a great appreciation for your parents and can add to the longevity of their lives.
Consider Respite Care
If in-home care and assisted living situations are absolutely out of the question, a respite situation may be needed. As parents age, they can become ill, frail and unable to take care of themselves. This may also be something that is far beyond what you are able to provide. A respite situation ensures that your parents will be well cared for. They will have exercise, balanced meals, companionship and their medications distributed at specific times daily. Many respite facilities also have activities, crafts and social events for residents to partake in. This helps keep them feeling like there is a purpose to fight and stay stubborn.
Get Other Family Members Involved
Even with a busy professional life, there are other members in the family that can help care for your aging parents. Your children can be taken to visit for a few hours during the week to share what is going on in school and listen to stories told by your parents. Siblings and spouses can also do their part to help out by taking turns going to help out for a little bit each day after their days are done. When some of the tasks are taken off of your shoulders, balancing your career and caring for your parents is absolutely possible.
Parental care is something that every family has to face at some point. It is up to the members of the family to work out a schedule to help them. You can balance your career and take on all of the responsibilities yourself if you wish. Use the tips above to make balancing your professional life and caring for your parents easier.
- Fiona Jameson is a Psychology major. Since her college, she has actively taken part in a lot of social service programs which further enhanced her urge to help out the elderly and disabled. Over the years, she has closely worked as a consultant with several philanthropic organizations, guiding those who need her help.