5 Tips for Handling the Stress of Aging Parents


Join a Support Group

Not only is it stressful caring for aging parents, it often also feels like a thankless and lonely responsibility. Caregiver-children can fall into a rut and feel isolated, and get a growing sense that professional goals and personal dreams have been snatched away. Resentment can build up, as the caregiver becomes increasingly exhausted, both physically and emotionally.

Many others are going through this as well; in fact, about one in five adult Americans is caring for another adult in their lives [source: U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services].

Whether you're dealing with a parent with Alzheimer's or just caregiver burnout, there are support groups with people who are going through the same thing, and who may be able to provide advice or simply lend an ear.

Support groups can be found through government Web sites and through groups such as Family Caregiver Alliance and Strength for Caring. Your church or place of worship may have a support group, as well. There are online support groups, which substitute forums and chat features for in-person interaction, and this may be ideal for those who aren't able to spend much time out of the house.

Next: Advice your own parents might give you.