Caring for Aging Parents

My parents and I decided to live a multi-generational lifestyle. It was a win-win situation, as I had become a working single parent, and they were needing increasingly more assistance with everyday tasks.

Both of my parents are 75, which is young in the geriatric world. However, my dad lives with congestive heart failure, which is now in its final stages, slowly shutting down other internal body functions. His weight and fluid retention is closely monitored, and a gain of three pounds means a stay at the hospital to drain the extra fluid away from his heart and lungs.

Thankfully, my mom still drives, and is able to help get Papa and the AoA kids where they need to go.

Since my dad’s last heart attack this past May, we try to make sure that either my mom or I are home with him most of the time.

What I notice these days, is the amount of needs that are not met independently. Life is a juggling act trying to meet the needs of everyone. It feels a little like having babies to care for, in that, time for self-care must be taken in small bits.

One of my co-workers retired this month so that she could meet the caregiving needs of her aging father. I understand that. My own mother was diagnosed with exhaustion, diverticulitis, and now has a weakened immune system following the intense caregiving over the past few months.

Self-care is vital when you are the caregiver. Sometimes, that means setting boundaries with loved ones and ourselves.

~AoA

9 thoughts on “Caring for Aging Parents

  1. I understand completely. My 83-year-old mom lives with us. It’s just me and hubby and her. We work together to make it all work. I am drawn to your blog because I went through a horrible first marriage and had a horrible divorce to go with it while trying to keep 3 small boys emotionally healthy. I know how hard you are working to hold it all together.

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    1. Thank you for sharing! For a long time, we also had my 72 year old aunt living with us. She lives with cerebral palsy with cognitive abilities of about a 7 year old. She is in a nursing home now, and it is a good fit for her. I would love to hear about some of the challenges you face/have faced in caring for an aging parent. Honestly, my grandparents all passed away in their early 60’s. Our family has not had to work through caring for our aging members before.

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  2. My situation is complicated by my chronic pain. For a while, she was the caretaker of me for about two years when I was at my worst. She drove me to doctor appointments and everything. Since I started new meds in the past couple of years, I am doing better, which is good because she is beginning to have more physical difficulties. I’m not sure where this is headed and how it’s going to work out. She is becoming more critical of everything I do which creates conflict. I will be honest and say when I am in severe pain, I probably do not handle it the best ways, but we usually get along fine as long as she is not critiquing things I do around the house. What challenges have you faced?

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    1. Oh my…that sounds familiar. With us, it is my dad who is demanding, and it just sucks the life out of my mom. My mom then introverts and hides in her room doing her iPad coloring. My mom has now been diagnosed with diverticulitis, and is in pain and exhausted most of the time.
      I think the spirit of depression and fatigue tries to take over the whole house, and we just have to keep going. I am physically limited some, now that I have had knee replacement and back surgery- I have to take a lot of breaks from physical labor, or I will be in more pain than I care for.
      It is irritating to have someone critiquing…especially when they are not helping! I like to have everyone content around me, but I can only do so much.

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  3. Our house is the same. We each are in different places emotionally, and when I can’t get up the hill, my hubby pulls me up and vice versa. So far, it has worked out. Physically, I do what I can. I try to pace and sometimes fail at that, but I have learned the hard way how important self-care is to do every day. I look forward to learning more about your world.

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  4. The photo didn’t show thru. They have changed so much. If you want the photo to show on theme you have to add via Featured Photo. If you want the photo in your post as far as I know you will have two photo’s. But you know me, I don’t read directions. 🙂

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