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7 Ways to Help When Aging Parents Expect Too Much

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As our parents age, they naturally need more assistance and support from their loved ones. However, these expectations can sometimes become overwhelming, leaving us feeling frustrated, guilty, and unsure of how to proceed. 

If you are in this situation, know you’re not alone. It’s important to consider these 7 practical ways to help when aging parents expect too much:

  • Communicate openly
  • Set boundaries
  • Seek outside resources
  • Focus on the solutions rather than the problems
  • Take care of yourself first
  • Get professional advice
  • Show gratitude and appreciation. 

Brooklyn Pointe Assisted Living & Memory Care is here to offer your loved ones the support and care they need with 24/7 trained staff and various services and amenities and to help take the weight of providing care off your shoulders. 

How to Manage Expectations

While we all want to care for our parents as they age, sometimes we need a break. It is important to care for yourself to better care for your loved ones. 

Communicate Openly

It’s essential to have open and honest conversations with your aging parents regarding their needs and expectations. Having a clear understanding of their goals and limitations will enable you to provide better support. 

Listening should take precedence over speaking. Consider asking your parents about their perspectives and emotions instead of presenting personal observations.

If you feel uncomfortable talking to your parents directly, consider bringing in a third-party mediator, such as a counselor or doctor.

Set Boundaries

Helping our aging parents is something most of us want to do. But it’s also super important to recognize our own limits. You’ve got to figure out what you can handle and what’s just too much for you.

Once you’ve sorted that, it’s time to chat with your parents. Let them know where your boundaries are. This isn’t about being selfish. It’s about taking care of your own mental and emotional well-being. Setting healthy boundaries is all about knowing yourself and your limits. It’s about being clear on what you can and can’t handle. 

To set these boundaries, you’ve got to be able to communicate assertively, not aggressively. Assertiveness means expressing how you feel respectfully without making demands.

Here’s a simple three-step guide:

  • Firstly, be straightforward and keep your cool. 
  • Secondly, express your needs or requests, focusing on what you want, not what you don’t. 
  • Lastly, be ready to deal with any uncomfortable feelings like guilt or shame that might pop up. Remember, setting boundaries is a form of self-care.

Seek Outside Resources

When caring for aging parents, it is helpful to tap into community resources. Services like meal delivery, transportation assistance, and home care aides are often available. 

It’s worth taking some time to research what’s offered in your area. Don’t hesitate to ask for help–these services are there for people like you and your parents.

Focus on Solutions, Not Problems

Caring for aging parents makes it easy to get overwhelmed by the challenges. However, focusing on finding solutions can make the process more manageable. Try engaging your parents or other family members in brainstorming sessions to tackle problems collaboratively.

Take Care of Yourself

When caring for aging parents, it’s easy to forget about our own needs. But remember, we can’t take care of others if we’re running on empty ourselves. So, it’s important to prioritize self-care. 

Don’t hesitate to take breaks when you need them. Do things that make you happy–whether that’s a hobby you love, meeting a friend for lunch, or even just going for a short walk outside.

Make sure you’re getting enough sleep and exercise. After all, your health and well-being are just as important.

And remember, it’s okay to ask for help. There are support groups that can provide emotional support and professional services that can assist with caregiving tasks like bathing and meal preparation.

Get Professional Advice

Concerns about aging parents can be complex, and it may be unclear where to begin. Seeking professional advice from an elder care attorney or financial planner can be incredibly helpful in understanding legal and financial implications and navigating the healthcare system effectively.

Show Gratitude & Appreciation 

Our aging parents are the ones who have taken care of us for most of our lives, and it’s essential to show them gratitude and appreciation. 

Simple acts of kindness, such as bringing them their favorite meal or spending quality time with them, can help to strengthen your relationship and communication.

Another way is by expressing our feelings verbally. A simple “I love you” or “Thank you for everything” can mean the world to them. We often assume they know how much we care, but hearing it can make all the difference.

A group of older adults sitting around a table, eating and enjoying breakfast while smiling and chatting

Navigate High Expectations from Aging Parents

Caring for aging parents can be challenging, but it’s important to remember that we’re all in this together. With patience, communication, and support from those around us, we can navigate this season of life and provide the best care possible for our loved ones. 

Remember to take care of yourself, seek professional advice when needed, and show gratitude and appreciation to those who have cared for us all our lives. And remember, you’re not alone–Brooklyn Pointe Assisted Living & Memory Care offers a professional and caring environment to nurture your parents through their golden years. Get in touch with us and see what we have to offer.

Written by Angela Clark

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