Many middle-aged adults find themselves with responsibilities for not only their children but their elderly parents as well. This can be extremely stressful, especially for someone that is working towards their own professional or academic goals. While most are preparing their own children for adulthood and looking forward to having more time for themselves, many encounter new demands from their parents.
Most people prefer intimacy at a distance and to reside independently as long as possible. Unfortunately, that is not always feasible, especially when it comes to the elderly. Older parents that are frail, greatly disabled, gravely ill, and failing in memory or emotional well-being are likely to call on their adult children for assistance. Being responsible for elderly parents requires complex time allocation pressures. As your parent’s caretaker, you will be responsible for juggling the competent role demands as an employee, spouse, and parent.
Take Care of You, Too
As a caretaker, you take on incredible responsibilities. You may experience a feeling that you need to be on point at all times. You do not need to be perfect, remember to be patient with your parents and yourself. Allow yourself grace when you make mistakes, get frustrated, or need to take a break. Take time to participate in virtual or in-person AA meetings and talk with a mental health specialist. People are more likely to relapse during times of high stress and drastic changes, so taking preventative measures will allow you to continue to focus on your recovery.
It Takes a Village
There are a number of free or low-cost services that you can consider using when you become a caretaker, including:
- Public transportation, such as MediVans
- Social adult daycare
- Volunteer or low-cost home maintenance repairs
- Yard work professionals
- Supplemental food program and shopper programs (Meals on Wheels)
- Medical resources including Medicare and Medicaid
- Financial resources such as Social Security and Energy Assistance
- Home healthcare or nursing aids
The responsibility of taking care of elderly parents can become overwhelming. It is equally as important for you to take care of yourself as well. Caregiver burnout threatens your sobriety, physical, and mental health. Taking advantage of Alcoholics Anonymous or individual therapy can positively affect how you manage sobriety and caregiving. Valiant Living is an all-male facility that offers resources and tools that can help you heal from addiction, and throughout your journey of recovery. If you or someone you love is suffering from substance use or mental health issue, or want information about our services, contact us at (303) 952-5035.