How To Take Care Of Both Your Kids And An Elderly Parent

how to take care of kids and old parents caregiver

Taking care of an elderly parent is one of the most difficult tasks you could take on. First of all, it requires a lot of time and effort and it’s physically draining. Secondly, it’s an emotionally difficult task, since it changed the dynamic between a parent and a child. 

This becomes even more troubling when you have young kids of your own. Kids thrive on stability and clearly set up boundaries. These become more difficult to maintain when you have an elderly parent to depend on you. 

Set Up Reasonable Expectations 

The first step is to set up reasonable expectations from yourself. Your life will get more complicated, messier and you won’t be able to achieve all that you plan to. It’s simply the fact and you need to start preparing yourself for it. 

Secondly, the same needs to be asked from the rest of your family. They need to know that you’re going to be spread thin and that things might get missed. It’s a difficult conversation to have, but it’s best if you’re open and honest about it and with yourself. 

Dealing With A Crisis 

Handling an elderly parent and a small child will simply be one crisis after another. That’s something you need to accept because there’s no way around it. There are also numerous techniques you could use to handle a stressful situation when it arises. Some are as simple as learning to breathe during one and others can be as complicated as making long term plans and lists of things to do when it happens. 

Preparation is the key to dealing with a crisis. If they require you to take trips to the hospital or to otherwise be on the move, it’s useful to have a “go bag” at your disposal at all times. Take the effort to keep it ready and to refill the supplies in when needed. 

Ask For Help 

One of the things that should be the simplest in these situations often turns out to be the most difficult. Many find it hard to ask for help in these situations even though they obviously could benefit from it. One of the ways to go is to ask your friends and family members to pitch in. 

Professional help also can mean a lot. Asking for professional aged care training could mean a lot and could teach you something you couldn’t get from a word of mouth advice. 

Everyone Needs To Pitch In 

This may seem obvious, but there are those who are always overlooked in these plans. Parents forget that the kids should and could do their part during this difficult time. When you’re making plans and deciding on what needs to be done, kids should be involved, and they should know what their part. 

Obviously, the scale and the difficulty of their part depend on their age and ability. You should never overburden them because you’re overburdened. However, it’s useful and healthy for the kids to feel like they are helping out as well. 

Me Time 

Regardless of how many tasks need to be done, it’s essential that you carve out some me time no matter what. This will help you handle the more difficult parts of this difficult job. It’s up to you to figure out what me time means for you and how you want to use it. 

Taking care of yourself in terms of your health and diet is one of the most important things you could do, during me time. Taking out 20 minutes a day to exercise and be with your thoughts may seem like a small step, but it really helps. 

Friends 

It’s easy to lose touch with your friends during a stressful time. Being socially isolated during it could make things even more difficult. Simply put, you’ll need to make an effort for this not to happen. 

Let your friends know that taking care of your kids and your parents is taking a toll on you and work your schedules out. This is not only so they can provide a helping hand (although they might) but so that you could maintain your other relationship in the process. 

Conclusion 

Taking care of an aging parent is one of the most exhausting things you could do. It’s not made easier by having a kid that needs your attention as well. It will require you to set up new expectations for your family life and to adapt to it. 

Your child should be involved in the decision making and they should pitch in as much as they can. At the same time, it’s important to leave some free time for your friends and in the end, for yourself. The only way to take care of everyone is to look after your health and diet to make sure you’re well enough to do it.


I hope you enjoyed this blog post about how to take care of both your kids and an elderly parent without sacrificing health or career.

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