How to Handle Stress While Helping Parents

Feb 17, 2014
Tagged with: How to Handle Stress While Helping Parents

As parents age, it’s never easy to see their health decline to a point where they simply cannot live on their own at home. At some point in a parent’s life, they may require in-home residence care or move from their current home to an assisted living centre or nursing home. Not only is the process of this type of change extremely challenging for a parent because they are losing their independence of living on their own, but it can be difficult for the children and other family members who help them through this transition. As you prepare to help one or both of your parents as they age and possibly move into a new home where there are care providers who can help them, here are some tips for handling any stress you might be experiencing.


Preparing for an unpredictable future

As a person ages, it’s difficult to know exactly how they will be able to handle it. Will they be able to move around by themselves? Can they complete the most basic tasks without assistance? Will they be able to drive to and from locations by themselves, even in the daytime? These questions or more probably pop up into your head every once in a while each year. However unpredictable life is, you should know that there is help out there for your parent and for yourself. Not only assisted living or residence care services, but your friends and family as well can be there for you to help you do any tasks or errands while helping your parents. Especially if you need time for yourself to relax, ask a close friend or family member to help you out. If you know someone you could use a break, suggest making them dinner or spending time with their parents for them during this transition.

Don’t forget to take care of yourself either. Keep up with eating right and exercising on a daily basis. Most people find these two things the most helpful when feeling stressed along with beginning a new hobby or sport to concentrate all of their energy on. Holding any of your stress in will only do more damage to yourself than actually help you in the long end.


Planning ahead

It may be difficult to talk to your parents about making a plan for the future and how they will need healthcare assistance. Most likely they might be in denial that they need assistance and still want to hold onto their independence, but it’s better to come up with a plan sooner than later. Health insurance companies and lawyers can help you find the right plan in case anything should happened unexpectedly in the future. This way, everyone is prepared and secure for the future and you will have less stress.


Additional support

You have the support of your friends and family along with coverage for your insurance company, but no one else might not quite understand what you are going through except for those who are going through the same thing. Consider joining a support group in your community. You should be able to find a group to share your stress and feelings with as your parent(s) age or face different diseases such as cancer or Alzheimer’s. Remember that you are never alone and there are people out there who are going through the exact same thing with you every day.

As your parent(s) age and you help them with this transition, remember that you can keep your stress levels in check with the following tips:


  • Seek out assistance from friends and family
  • Don’t forget about your own health
    • Exercise and eat well
    • Begin a new hobby
    • Prepare for the unpredictable
      • Agree on an insurance plan for coverage
      • Select an assisted living centre, resident care provider, or nursing home
      • Join a support group in your community

If you or you know someone who has helped an aging parent or parent(s), what was their experience and how did they relieve their stress?


Author: Ashley Williamson

  • bobl07

    Hi Ashley. This post hits right at home. My family and I are dealing with this issue today. My best advice is to please make sure the care person is keeping up with their own health. An ill person dealing with another ill person makes an extremely difficult situation. Also, please have a will on record for the day when either person dies. It can help resolve so many future issues.