|With my dad in 2003, about a year and a half before his death|
I'm an orphan.
I never thought I would be able to categorize myself that way, but there it is. My dad passed away in 2004 after a fairly long battle with cancer, and my mom died unexpectedly almost a year ago.
I'm going to talk more in my next post about dealing with grief over the loss of my parents. But I wanted to address something that many people my age are experiencing now: caring for aging parents.
Sometimes middle-aged adults find themselves switching roles with their parents...as they age, the parents being more like children while the children assume a more parental role. This can be extremely stressful, especially if siblings aren't willing to pitch in and share responsibilities.
My husband's father is approaching 90. Thankfully he's in good health and still lives fairly independently, but he needs help with many things that he didn't need before. He doesn't drive anymore, and at least some of his meals need to be provided. My husband and his five brothers share responsibilities.
But what about those of you who find yourselves being caregivers to aging parents? How do you deal with it?
USA Today recently featured a list of tips for caring for aging parents. They include making a caregiving budget; exploring free or low-cost public benefits, and considering professional help, among several other practical suggestions.
|My mom with my dad, just a few months before he died|
Do you care for an aging parent?
Or have you notice the your role as your parents' child changing? I'd love to get your thoughts in my comments. I'd also love to know if there have been any resources that have helped you in this journey.
I'm participating in "31 Days: A Writing Challenge," in which I 'll be blogging on the subject of Gracefully Aging every day during the month of October. Click the button below for more information and links to each post as they become available!