When your parents need help around the home, you're probably the first to volunteer. As their needs increase, you probably start picking up the extra tasks. Soon, you're helping cook meals, get the housework and lawn taken care of each week, and you're also driving them to appointments and stores.
They're happy, which makes you feel great, but you're also overwhelmed. You don't know what to do to find a balance between their happiness and your own needs.
Think About the Risks of Isolation
Isolation and loneliness impact mental health and physical health. Studies have found that socialization can help lower the risk of high blood pressure and diseases like heart disease.
Don't isolate yourself from friends in order to be there for your parents. You can be there for them without being the only one there for them. Let others step in and help out.
Are Your Parents Lonely?
You're thinking of your own dealings with isolation. What about your parents? Is it possible their loneliness and isolation are part of the reason they ask you to stop by more often? If they don't have a lot of friends in the area, they may not be socializing.
If that's possible, you could talk them into giving a local senior center a try. They could volunteer once a week at a local library or hospital. They could also get companionship visits from caregivers.
Consider What is Feasible
You have to decide if it's really something you're capable of doing. You may not be, and that's okay. You may not the physical strength needed to lift your dad from his bed to a wheelchair. If you simply cannot do it, you can't force yourself to attempt it anyway. You cannot risk injuring yourself or your dad.
Do You Have Hobbies Your Parents Would Also Enjoy?
If there are things you love to do that would appeal to your parents, you could make that part of the time you spend together. If you love orienteering, take them with you to courses that they can handle given their fitness level. Bird watching, painting, and collecting seashells for art projects are other ideas.
Know Your Limits When it Comes to Time
Make sure you know when to say no. It's hard, but it's necessary. You don't want to agree to do so much that it cuts into your work hours, time with friends, and obligations with your children or spouse/partner.
When there just isn't time to help your parents, they don't have to be alone. Caregivers can help them with everything from housekeeping to appointment scheduling. To learn more about prices and services caregivers offer, call a home care agency.
If you or an aging loved one is considering caregivers in Billings, MT, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare Billings today at 406-839-2390.