Caregivers: Managing your parents' feelings and yours

Bassey BY

An opinion essay on Father's Day: Are you a caregiver for your parents? The first thing to remember is to take care of yourself. The second is to act as a caregiver, not as a parent or teacher to your older parents.

An opinion essay on Father's Day. Are you your father's caregiver?

Some of our aging parents take the role of a parent seriously and feel anxious when the position reverses.

I think self-preservation is what children cannot take away from their parents. It does not matter what is going on with our aging parents.

Practical Tips:

Try your best to permit your parent with a sound mind to decide on their well-being. For example, he decides to take her prescribed medications, hire a maid, or go to a doctor's office.


Medication is challenging to take every day. Studies show the general adult population rarely completes their prescribed medication--about fifty percent.

However, always discuss why the medication or a visit to the doctor's office is necessary.

Set a real-life example. From my experience, no parents want to lose their independence -- loss of vision, immobility, etc.

Let your parent know why you take medicine if you are on medication. The truth can help him realize he is not alone, and medication can be helpful.

My observation on an election day:

On election day, a ninety-one-year-old woman announced in the polling station that she drove from NY to Cape Cod, MA, every Friday. She caught everyone's attention, and many people looked at her.

Do you know why she was telling us about her driving skills?

I think she was telling everyone who listened - "I'm an independent woman, and I don't wait for my children or driver to drive me to places."

Things we can do:

1. Never lecture your parents on what to do.

Some of our aging parents take the role of a parent seriously and feel anxious when the position reverses.

The role reversal often happens when both parties are not conscious. Some of us make this mistake with our aging parents, and they could have made the same mistake with their parents.

Caring for a parent sometimes reflects how our parents parented us. I think a parent should set the rule right from a young age for their children. What they can take from their children and what they cannot tolerate from their adult children.

Money is power. Prepare for your old age to avoid your adult children running your life.

2. Ask for permission and opinion on their affairs.

If you are the primary caregiver, always ask your parent for permission to do something for them; try not to pressure or manipulate them. Even with health issues, unless they cannot make a decision.

You may not move your parent to your house if they are not on board because this can shorten their life. Sometimes, this has to do with finance, workforce, or location.

Instead, if you can afford to pay for help, hire a nurse to visit her or a live-in caretaker who is not a relative.

Be honest and let her know the truth.
Daughter and motherAndrea Piacquadio

3. You.

Remember, we cannot pour water or tea from an empty cup.

Take care of yourself as you take care of your parents. Try your best not to be in your parent's presence 24/7. If you can afford it, hire someone to help you for a day or two.

You need to be healthy to care for your parents. Some of us are lucky; our parents aged gracefully and stayed in their homes.

I think the outcome of caregivers not taking proper care of themselves is resentment and defensiveness. Take care of yourself.


  • Self-preservation is what we cannot take away from our parents.
  • Most parents take the role seriously and feel anxious when the position reverses.
  • As a caretaker or caregiver, take proper care of yourself. Be healthy so that you can care for your parents and your own children.

"Help yourself grow."- BY

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Hey Friends, LMSW* Lifestyle consultant and wellness coach. A lifestyle writer helps you live healthier, happier, wiser, and wealthier. I create stories and recipes for us to learn how to live healthier, better life. I enjoy organizing, cooking, gardening, and investing. Please let me know how I can assist you.

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