Read these 10 Role Reversal Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Elder Care tips and hundreds of other topics.
Many home bathrooms are not properly equipped for safety for seniors or handicapped people.
Be sure to:
Add safety handles, for easier access to the tub.
Be careful with bathroom rugs
Add non-slip grids to the tub bottom.
Install rocker switches for lights, which are much easier on arthritic hands.
When you accept the responsibility to care for your parent, you are stepping into a new chapter of your life, and at times, it will be quite a challenge.
When you are the "Parent to your parent" be careful with your approach. Provide love and assurance. If your parent has difficulty hearing, speak louder, and encourage a hearing checkup.
Encourage daily bathing and grooming habits.
Never treat your parent as if he or she is a child. Offer guidance and advice, while remembering this is your parent you are caring for. If necessary make decisions, however, allow your parent to voice concern, making suggestions.
Remember, you have taken on an overwhelming responsibility. While you are not the parent, you ARE the caregiver, and decisions need to be made.
Discuss the future. Make plans. Be good to your parent, and cherish this special time you have together.
If you are struggling with time management while caring for someone elderly, try to rearrange your schedule. For example, if your elderly loved one is still living alone but cannot drive, arrange to help with errands while doing your errands.
*Make errands fun, instead of a hassle. Encourage your relative to have a list made, for easier, and quicker shopping. After completing errands, treat yourself to lunch or dinner with her.
*While enjoying a relaxing meal, talk about old times with your loved one. Laugh!
Sometimes a home may need to be modified for safety and access. Be sure to:
Remove rugs, so walkers can move without causing falls.
Get one of the panic buttons that can be worn around the neck or wrist.
Make sure electrical cords are tucked out of the way.
Keep a spare key in case of emergencies.
Let a neighbor know where to reach you, should help be needed.
The little things consist of tiny gems of life --- precious jewels, cherished, and to be appreciated.
The smell of fresh coffee brewing on a cold winters day…
A leisurely stroll in the park, or along the lake…
Reading a good book, and remembering it.
Having time to read a newspaper from the first page until the last.
The crackle of fall leaves crunching under your feet while you enjoy the freshness of air and sunshine during a brisk walk.
The perfume of a sweet smelling rose.
A robin hopping on the ground, symbolizing the beginning of springtime.
A woodpecker chiseling away at a tree…
Singing in a choir at church…
Music, especially the classics.
The laughter of a child.
Smiling at a stranger.
Taking the time to write memories in your personal diary.
Playing in the snow…
Managing the time to notice the twilight of nightfall breaking into the dawn of morning…seeing the sunrise…watching the sunset…
Breathing fresh air…
Reading highway signs, and billboards along the highway…
Planting a spring garden…
Making time to spend with your loved ones.
Your children are grown, living away from home.
Now you have time to enjoy yourself.
There is time to enjoy life and the little things again. Maybe there is actually time to rejuvenate your relationship and romance with your spouse. Without warning, things change. You find yourself feeling like a parent again, while you start to do more for your parent.
If you are serving as a caregiver, do you hear yourself speaking to your parent, as if you ARE the parent again?
Do you have to remind your parent to get dressed?
Are you constantly checking to make certain he or she is all right?
Do you ask questions about health habits and what he or she ate today?
Are you making suggestions for your parent?
The roles are reversing. While you slip into the blessed "middle aged years" you feel overwhelmed again, just like you did as a parent...only this time, you feel like you are the parent to your parent!
You peer out the window, or walk outside for a breath of springtime air.You smile, knowing winter chill will soon be gone. Still, a feeling of sadness lingers inside of you.
It may be Spring fever, or even cabin fever. Too busy to evaluate your thoughts, you rush to carry kids to school and soccer practice. You rush to work. You rush to lunch. In the afternoon, exhausted, you rush to check on your elderly loved one. Finally, you rush home, to cook dinner, do the laundry, and tidy up the house. You get the picture.
Your life is a constant rush - an endless obstacle course. Leaving you tired, tense, frustrated and sad.
Take time for you. STOP for a moment. Grab a cup of coffee or tea and just sit, savoring the quiet.
If you are a caregiver, you might find yourself making decisions about your parent, as if you were the parent.
How can this be, you ask?
If your parent is aging, perhaps he or she is not able to make some of the decisions in his or her life, and you are now confronted with this dilemma.
Keep safety in mind, when planning the care of your parent.
Heating and air conditioning (the majority of elderly are cold, due to poor circulation)
Extension cords -- keep them out of the way!
Children's toys - move them out of the way so they do not invite falls!
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|