Published on March 27, 2018

Caring for your parents

How to know when it’s time to get help

Senior with daughterIt may be a job you wouldn’t trade for the world. But taking care of an aging parent can also be hard work. And sometimes it’s too much to tackle alone.

Do you feel that way? If so, it may be time to bring in some outside help before you burn out.

Clues you might need help

You may know best when you need a stress break or when caregiving is beyond your expertise. But here are some possible signs:

You never take a break. Your duties make it hard to carve out time for things you enjoy.

You’re too busy to care for you. Are you skipping doctor’s appointments, eating poorly or losing sleep? You can’t care for your parent unless you care for yourself.

You feel angry, exhausted or overwhelmed. Emotions like these are normal. But stress and fatigue can lower your ability to cope.

You’re uncomfortable doing some things. Are there parts of caregiving, like giving medicines or treatments, which you feel should be done by someone more qualified than yourself?

Accepting help could benefit your parent and make caregiving more rewarding for you.

How Mercy LIFE can help

Mercy LIFE – West Philadelphia offers a number of services that can help your parent stay in their home—and help ease your caregiving duties.

For instance, the Mercy LIFE – West Philadelphia Day Center is open during daytime hours Monday through Friday and provides healthcare, nutrition and social services for enrolled adults. Some services are also provided in homes.

“At Mercy LIFE – West Philadelphia, your parent can get the type of care he or she needs—and you can get a much-needed caregiving break,” says Fatima Trice, Social Worker, Mercy LIFE  –  West Philadelphia.