Caregiving For Aging Parents: Dealing With the Ultimate Role Reversal

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As your parents get older, there is a painful role reversal that occurs for you - and them. Whereas once they gave you all the care you needed, at some point you will need to care for them. It can be a difficult period of adjustment, but there are a few tried and tested ways of making it work, so you are both happy. Let’s take a look at some of your options right away.

Take care of yourself

First and foremost, you will be no good to your parents if you don’t look after yourself. That includes your general health and fitness, mental well-being, and your marriage or relationship. Looking after aging parents can take its toll on the most well-meaning individuals, and you just won’t have the stamina if you don’t look after number one. According to, knowing your limitations as a caregiver can also be of great help.

Discuss your options

There are plenty of choices to consider when considering caring for aging parents. You might decide to move in with your parent as a couple, or bring them into your home. Care homes are another option, of course, although they may not be suitable for your parents. According to, many elderly individuals prefer to forgo care in nursing homes and other institutions., Instead, they want to stay at home and live in the maximum of comfort., It's important to talk to your parents about their individual needs. Some may prefer the community spirit and safety net of a home, of course - but it isn't the only answer.

Talk about money

It’s important to discuss your finances - and your parent’s finances - as early as possible. Money - as everyone knows - can cause enormous frictions in relationships, whether it is between you and your partner or you as a couple and your parents. Your best bet is to prepare long in advance, by saving money in a special account, and working with your parents and in-laws to ensure they have money put away. There are other options, of course - Medicaid, for example. The point is you must have plans in place so that money is not a big issue.

Reevaluate - often

As your parents get older, their needs will change - a lot. It’s important to keep on top of these changes so you can preempt major issues occurring before they get too serious. Consider your parent’s current ability to get around, for example, and question whether their health is getting worse. Join your parents when they have doctors appointments, too - it will give you a chance to tweak things if they aren’t working.

Remember - it’s not all about you

Finally, when you are caring for aging parents - especially those that are difficult - it’s easy to feel like your world is coming down around your ears. However, always bear in mind that your parents have needs, too - there is more than one person in this situation. Life can be incredibly stressful for caregivers, but those on the receiving end also face enormous challenges.


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