Monday, December 14, 2020

How to Mentally Cope When Your Elderly Parent is Sick

How to Mentally Cope When Your Elderly Parent is Sick

It is hard to see your parent go through sickness, especially when they have been your rock for your whole life. Seeing the changes in them can make you feel like a child again, unsure of how to handle the situation, but this time your parent can’t be the one to guide you. There are ways to get through it, and part of that involves taking care of your mental health. Here is how you mentally cope when dealing with a sick, elderly parent. 

Talk to Your Friends and Family 

Problems become smaller when you share them, so make an effort to talk to your friends and other members of your family. By sharing how you feel, a weight will be lifted off your shoulders, and you will receive sound advice that will help you push through. 

If other family members here that you are struggling, there’s also a chance that they will step in more and help you out. People get through struggles better together, so widen your circle as much as you can. 

Go to Therapy 

If you are struggling to come to terms with the decline in your parents’ health, then consider seeing a professional about it. They will be able to help you through why you feel the way you do and how to take control of your emotions. It’s not a one-appointment fix, but seeing a therapist can help you work through your feelings and eventually feel better overall. If you don’t have the time to see someone regularly, there are online counselors you could talk to. 

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Join an Online Community 

There are many people out there who are also struggling to deal with the fact their parent is sick, and you will find many of them online. The internet is filled to the brim with varying communities, from gaming ones to those dealing with grief, so there will be plenty for you to join. By talking with people who feel the same way as you, you will feel less alone. Any outlet is better than none, so even if you are only opening up online, it’s part of your journey to coping. 

Talk with Nurses

It’s a good idea to talk with the nurses who are tending to your elderly parent. Ask them questions, chat about how they’re doing, and tell them how you think they are from your point of view. Nurses have dealt with many illnesses and are usually great to chat to about these things. 

Seek Assisted Living 

If you are the primary carer of your parent and you are struggling to keep up, then consider assisted living. While it might be a scary thought, as any changes are, it will provide your parent with a better quality of life while helping you cope with their sickness. 

The best-assisted living communities like Belmont Village Senior Living provide those living there with impeccable support and plenty of activities for secure and fun living. By choosing them, you can be sure your senior parent’s care is in the best hands possible. 

Engage in Self Care

Time to yourself is imperative, especially when you are dealing with a sick relative. When you are giving both your time and energy thinking about and caring for somebody else, it can drain you, so you need to rejuvenate yourself. Some ways you can indulge in self-care include:

  • Getting a massage
  • Running a bubble bath 
  • Painting
  • Reading a book
  • Pampering yourself
  • Taking a walk in nature 

It doesn’t have to be any of those things – just something you love. By allowing yourself to relax, you will feel mentally better and able to handle anything life throws at you. 

If you find that you have little time to focus on yourself, then find easy five-minute relaxation activities. There are loads of meditation guidance videos online, so even if you can only listen for five to ten minutes, it will still help you de-stress. 

Visit Them Regularly 

It sounds obvious, but many people deal with a sick relative by distancing themselves. That is the last thing you should do. Visit your parent and let them know that you’ll always be there for them. You can reminisce, laugh, exchange stories, and spend quality time together despite their illness. Remember, they looked after you when you were young, so now is a chance to return the favor. No one likes to be alone, especially when sick! 

Learn About Their Illness

Knowing what they are dealing with will help you feel a sense of control. By knowing what you’re up again, you’ll be able to manage your expectations better, and it’ll also be easier to talk to their nurses. Illness affects all families at some point, and whether it’s long-lasting or otherwise, it can have a devastating impact. Understanding is the key to getting through it, so do your research and be there for them as much as you can. 

Take a Trip 

There’s no reason why you shouldn’t take a trip. A little escapism is beneficial for everyone, and you needn’t be gone long. A weekend to the seaside or a local city will help put things into perspective, and you’ll get the chance to have some fun. Take your partner, friends, or family, and let yourself enjoy life for a little while. After all, there’s so much to see!

If you can, take your sick parent along. Of course, this won’t be viable for everyone, but if you can, then it’s a perfect opportunity to make new memories. 

Prepare Yourself

If your parent is terminally ill, or very old, then it’s better to prepare yourself for the inevitable. Nobody lives forever, not even your parents, and while it is extremely difficult to deal with, preparing yourself will help when it does happen. Preparing doesn’t mean you should depress yourself with the knowledge, but that you should make the most of the time you have together. Nobody knows for sure when someone will pass, so make as many memories as you can, and remember all the good times you had together.  

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