It’s Tough to Raise a Parent These Days

Dealing with parents is something that people do  all their lives, and think that they should be pretty good at it by the time their parents hit 80. But with more responsibility as we get older, and less time to care for aging parents most find that the job just gets more difficult. Most have fought with their parents growing up, their parents forgave bad behavior throughout their teens and twenties, and then they became friends as their children raised their own children, and they became grandparents. But now, somehow, the roles have reversed and many adult children find themselves in midlife trying to forgive their parents for unacceptable behavior, unreasonable time demands, and unnecessary trips to the emergency room. This generation of aging seniors is living longer with more chronic illnesses, and must deal with a very complicated social and healthcare system.  Getting through a day alone can be challenging for elders – navigating through the hospital bills can be terrifying. Even with support and assistance from siblings and spouses to help make decisions and coordinate logistics, becoming a caregiver is physically and emotionally exhausting. When your new best friend is the receptionist at the Medicare office, or your mother’s cardiologist it is time for something to change.  Caretakers need  to ask for help. Realize that many friends and family are willing to help—don’t be shy in asking, and don’t reject their offers of assistance because you believe that the care giving responsibility is only your concern.