Caring for Aging Parents Who Didn’t Care for You

Your 1+1 Team
June 8, 2022

When Clarie’s mother got diagnosed with dementia, she was torn on what to do next. She hadn’t talked to her mother in ten years yet she felt expected to have her move into her home. Claire felt terrible she had to think twice about taking care of her mother but there was so much pent-up resentment she couldn’t just toss aside. Claire was stuck on what to do because she was uncomfortable saying it out loud. However, Claire is not alone. Many children who once had toxic relationships with their ill parents were stuck on how to care for them. You aren’t obligated to be your parent’s caregiver or take care of your sick parent but there are options that can benefit your situation.

1. Begin going to therapy

Releasing those bottled-up emotions and confiding in a trained professional can help you move forward from your resentment and feel more comfortable caregiving. Therapy also helps you reflect and put your priorities into perspective which can help validate whatever decision you decide to make regarding your involvement in your parent’s care.

2. Hire Help instead of Caring for Aging Parents Yourself

You may want to help care for your loved one but can’t make peace to get involved. That’s okay! You can outsource caregiving and hire the help you can’t provide. 1+1 Cares is an example of how you can seek professional help to meet your loved one’s caregiving needs. While this option costs more than doing it on your own, these services can act as the middleman between you and your parent.

3. Read The Four Things That Matter Most: A Book About Living

Palliative care physician Dr. Ira Byock discusses in her book the power of four simple phrases to reflect on the past, support emotional well-being and handle difficult relationships with dignity and grace.

4. Consider Guardianship

Appointing a legal guardian for your loved one is another option that allows you to ensure their well-being while taking a hands-off approach. This option can only be applicable if your parent is legally proven incompetent. Your local health and human services (HHS) department or adult protective services (APS) agency will help arrange for someone to overlook their living situation, finances, and healthcare for approval. After the guardianship proceedings, a state-appointed individual will be trusted with managing their care.

5. Accept Their Flaws

Altering your perspective and coming to the realization that your parents were raised by imperfect people too can help you gain acceptance and possibly gain a stronger presence in their lives. They often did all they knew how. While abuse isn’t justifiable, understanding humans have flawed pasts can help you move forward in your healing process.

Being a caregiver to your parent is not easy, especially if you never had the best relationship with them. If you want to take care of your parent without bringing back past trauma, consider the options above.

1+1 Cares is a referral agency that works for clients and caregivers. We match caregivers with clients and inform them of your requirements. We work for you so you and your loved one can have a safe, enjoyable caregiving experience. Find a Caregiver Near You.

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