In the case of taking care of your aging parents, knowing the tools and techniques to make this stage in your life easier, is half the battle.
We loved this “Survivor Kit” and found many other useful tips in the Huffington Post article “Sanity-Saving Secrets For Caring For Your Aging Parents”
Wine. Red, white, good, cheap. Sometimes self-medication is just what the doctor ordered.
A friend on speed dial. Somebody who can listen to you during dark nights of the soul and laugh with you at moments of total absurdity.
Distracting movies. Science has proved that it’s impossible to feel worried or sad while watching “My Cousin Vinny,” “Singin’ in the Rain,” or “The Princess Bride.” Okay, maybe not, but it can’t hurt. Also, avoid all films with tragic parents (“Bambi,” “Amour”…).
Mementos of better times. If carrying around a seashell, a half-spent matchbook or a tiny porcelain goat makes you smile, by all means do that.
A pillow. Once in a while, you’ll want to punch something.
Something that’s pleasurable, mindless and yours. Tell everyone to leave you alone for an hour, then go weed your garden. Or dance the hully gully, or do something else that makes you happy. You need to carve out time for joy, and you need time to yourself.
Old photos of your parents. These folks in your care whose prescriptions need filling again, whose anecdotes take eons to relate? Here they are wearing bobby socks to a school dance, looking scrubbed and buoyant at their wedding, gripping your hand at Yellowstone. Look at these pictures and remember how singular their lives were, and are. Enjoy, even in this small way, the people who were there for you, and see if that doesn’t make things just a tiny bit easier.
What “secrets” do you have for caring for your aging parents? We would love to hear from you in the comments below or post your thoughts in our forums.