As our parents begin to age, we are the ones who need to step up to the task of caring for them. As any of you who already care for your parents will know, there are many situations that could cause us to feel guilty and like we are not doing enough. And one of those situations is when you live quite far from your family. Sure, you make the journey to visit your elderly relatives regularly, but are you sure that is enough?
Lots of people who live quite a distance from their ageing parents can often feel very guilty when there is no reason to. If you want to silence your remote caregiver guilt, here are some great ideas you can follow.
Accept That You Can’t Always Be There
Even if you lived on the same street as your parents, there is no way you could be there for them around the clock. After all, you also need to dedicate some time to your own family and career. Once you understand that there is no way you could ever be there for them at all times, you will start to accept your current position. As a result, all your feelings of guilt should reduce.
Support Your Siblings
If you have some siblings who live close to your parents, they are probably helping out a lot more. You can greatly help your parents by supporting your siblings. For instance, you might want to ask your siblings if there is anything you can send them that could help them with their caring responsibilities. It would also be nice to offer them a place to stay at yours if they ever need a break. In fact, you might want to swap positions for a week so you can take some time looking after your parents and your siblings can enjoy a break!
Think About Professional Help
If your parents are particularly frail or sick, it’s worth looking for some professional help. Depending on how independent they are, you might need to look for affordable hospice care or home carers who can visit them in their own home. Once professionals start to visit your parents, or they move into a care home, you can then enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing they are being properly looked after.
Set Up Some Boundaries
If your parents are independent enough to look after themselves at home, it might be necessary to set up some boundaries. These can be useful for them as much as you, as it will prevent them from becoming too dependent on you and your siblings. It is also important to not let any hurtful words come between you all. In times of frustration, your parents or siblings might lash out at you. But it’s in all your best interests if you take this on the chin and just push past it. Otherwise, if you retaliate, you might be consumed with even more guilt later on.
Hopefully, all these tips will help you as a remote caregiver.