Role Reversal and Aging Parents

roleI see this all the time, there comes a day that you think will never happen and that is when your roles in life start reversing. Your parents who once took care of you are depending on you to take care of them. This is role reversal. You find yourself asking what will be best for them without your life changing too much.

You also ask yourself, how do you keep up the pace and try to please everyone around you? Deep inside what you really want is to balance everything to keep everyone around you happy and life as normal as possible, but you know that is not going to happen. Those once a week visits or daily phone calls are no longer enough anymore and your parents may need more care.

The care that is being talked about is making sure your parents eat, that they take their medications, that their money is not being floundered away. You may have family or friends that say, get them in assisted living or a nursing home, but deep inside you do not want to them in one. So how do you cope? How do you deal with this situation without alienating everyone?

First, it is important that you understand it’s not about you. It is not about guilt and what some think is the “right thing to do”. It’s not about hanging on to the people that they used to be. They are an elderly person in need of constant care and attention. Dealing with your aging parents will make you grow up faster than you ever thought whether you’re ready or not!

The next thing you can do is make an appointment with their doctor. Have an appointment to discuss the health and what you have noticed. Their health may need more than that and the visiting nurse or doctor’s office is the place to apply the concern. The best word to learn to help an elder parent is the same as if your infant child were being cared for and that is SAFETY. If safety is not at the level necessary, keep pushing until you get the help you need. Keep on insisting the area of SAFETY. When they are older, the best thing you can give them is safety first.

I know firsthand because we work on safety so much here at Rosa’s Chante and offer a safe environment, just as your parents worked on safety for you as a child.

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