Taking care of an older parent can be a big job and take up lots of time, especially if they need lots of help. If the adult child can’t handle taking care of their parent and doing everything else they need to do. Then instead of blaming and hurting their parents, they might need to walk away. It’s a hard choice to make, but sometimes it’s better for everyone if they do. In this article, you can learn how to help your elderly parents from a distance to cope with the guilt. Know 19 Reasons and situations for walking away from an elderly parent.
When Walking Away from An Elderly Parent Is A Right Decision
Thinking about walking away from an elderly parent is never easy. But sometimes it may be necessary for your own health. It’s important to take care of yourself and get help if you need it.
There are many reasons you may need to distance yourself from your elderly parent. Like abuse, addiction, money problems, mental health issues, family conflicts, lack of resources, differences that can’t be solved, and neglect. Or abandonment, toxic family relationships, or safety concerns. It’s okay to set boundaries and keep your distance. Taking care of yourself is important for a peaceful mind and peaceful life.
How Is It Wrong to Move Away from Elderly Parents?
It’s wrong to leave your elderly parents without taking care of them. They need love, care, and attention, especially if they are not feeling well or having trouble moving around. It’s important to be respectful and kind to your parents as they get older.
Leaving your elderly parents without any care can be bad for them. They need good food, medicine, and friends to be happy and healthy. There are different ways to care for them, like visiting them often or getting someone to help at home. Or find a special place for them to live.
The most important thing is to show them you love and care about them. And that you’re there to help them whenever they need it. So, don’t leave your elderly parents alone without taking care of them. Ensure they get the care and attention they need to be happy and healthy.
Laws Related to Walking Away from An Elderly Parent
Laws about leaving your elderly parent can be different depending on where you live. Most places have laws that say adult children need to help their elderly parents somehow. For example, in some parts of the United States. Children have to give their parents money to help with medical care if they can’t pay for it themselves. If children don’t follow these laws, they could get in trouble with the law.
Other countries, like the United Kingdom, also have laws that say children need to help their parents if they can’t take care of themselves. But, these laws are not as strict as in the United States. So people are less likely to get in trouble if they don’t follow them.
It’s important to remember that laws about taking care of elderly parents are different depending on where you live. So it’s best to talk to a local lawyer to understand what you need to do. Even if you have legal obligations to help your parents. It’s important to make sure they are taken care of and get the help they need, no matter what the law says.
19 Reasons And Situations for Walking Away from An Elderly Parent
As we grow older, we often need more help from our families. But sometimes, the relationship between older parents and their adult children can become hard or even unhealthy. When this happens, adult children may need to stay away from their elderly parents to keep themselves safe and happy. Here I will share 19 reasons and situations. That might make adult children want to walk away from their elderly parents.
1- Physical or emotional Abuse
One of the most serious reasons for walking away from an elderly parent is if they are physical. Or emotionally abusive towards their adult child. No one deserves to be treated poorly, even by their own parent. And it’s important to prioritize your own safety and well-being.
And it may be necessary to step away from the situation to protect oneself. It’s important to take care of one’s physical and emotional health. And seek help if needed, and make sure to stay safe.
2- Addiction or substance abuse
Elderly parents with addiction or substance abuse problems can be challenging to care for. Adult children may not be able to provide the needed care. They may need to seek outside help and focus on their own well-being. However, if the elderly parent refuses to address the problem, it can be emotionally challenging for the family.
3- Walking away from an elderly parent due to Financial exploitation
If elderly parents take advantage of their adult children’s finances or engage in fraudulent activities. It can cause significant financial harm. It’s important to seek legal help and set boundaries to prevent further damage.
4- Mental health issues
Sometimes, an adult child might have to walk away from their elderly parent because of mental health issues. Mental illness can be hard to deal with, especially if the elderly parent has severe mental health problems like dementia or Alzheimer’s.
These conditions can require specialized care from medical professionals and caregivers. Dealing with dementia can be really hard for families, especially if the elderly parent doesn’t want to get the adult child needs to take take care of their own mental health. And get support if they’re struggling to cope.
5- Walking away from an elderly parent Due to Hoarding
Hoarding is when someone collects too many things and has trouble getting rid of them. It’s something that older adults sometimes do, and it can be very hard for their adult children to deal with. Hoarding can make it dangerous to live in a home, and it can also make family members very upset.
While it’s natural for family members to argue or disagree from time to time. If an elderly parent is consistently disrespectful towards their adult child. It can create a toxic and unhealthy relationship.
7- Emotional manipulation
Emotional manipulation can take many forms, including guilt-tripping, gaslighting, or using emotional blackmail. If an adult child feels that their elderly parent is manipulating them. It may be necessary to distance themselves to break the cycle.
8- Unwillingness to accept help
Sometimes, an elderly parent may be unwilling to accept help or make changes that would improve their quality of life. This can be incredibly frustrating for adult children who feel like they are doing everything they can to support their parents.
9- Personality conflicts
Sometimes, family members just don’t get along well because of different personalities. This can create tension and problems that are hard to solve. For example, an elderly parent might have a very different personality from their adult child. And this can cause conflict between them. Even if they try to work it out, sometimes it’s just too difficult to get along.
10- Walking away from an elderly parent due to a Lack of resources
Adult children who don’t have the resources to provide adequate care for their elderly parents. They may need to seek outside help from community organizations or hire a caregiver.
11- Neglect or abandonment
If an elderly parent is neglectful, whether it be towards their own needs or towards their adult child’s needs. It can be incredibly difficult for the adult child to cope with. Neglect can include failing to take medications, and not eating properly. Or refusing to help their adult child when they need it. Sometimes elderly parents have a past of not taking care of or leaving their children. So it can make their children very upset.
12- Personal safety
If an older parent is doing things that could be dangerous or harmful. It might be necessary to stay away from them for your own safety. It’s important to make sure you’re safe and get help from experts if you need it.
13- The job or career opportunities
Sometimes people move away from their aging parents for different reasons. One of the reasons is the job or career opportunities. People may need to relocate for work, especially if they are starting their careers or need to advance their careers. This can be difficult, but it can also lead to more money, a better job, and personal growth.
14- Due to Health Concerns
Sometimes, when an elderly parent has health problems, it may be necessary for their adult child to move closer to medical facilities or doctors. This can be hard for both the parent and the child. But it might be necessary to make sure the parent gets the care they need.
15- Irreconcilable differences
Fundamental differences in values, beliefs, or lifestyles can cause significant conflict between elderly parents and adult children. And making it hard to maintain a healthy relationship. In these cases, it may be necessary to accept the differences and keep a distance.
16- Lifestyle preferences or Differences
Sometimes, an adult child might have to walk away from their elderly parent because of lifestyle differences. As time goes on, people can develop different interests and ways of living. If an elderly parent and their adult child have very different interests or lifestyles. It can cause problems and disagreements that may be hard to resolve.
For example, young people may like different things than their parents. And this can cause arguments if they can’t agree on what to do together.
17- Religious or cultural differences
Religious or cultural differences can also create tension between elderly parents and their adult children. If the adult child feels like their parent is being judgmental. Or intolerant, it may be necessary to distance themselves for their own well-being.
18- Financial Considerations
Sometimes adult children have to walk away from their elderly parents because of money issues. The cost of living in a certain area may be too high to take care of both the adult child and the aging parent. Expensive medical care or assistance can also be a financial burden that may be easier to handle in a different location.
19- Walking away from an elderly parent due to Personal values
Sometimes you may believe that walking away from an elderly parent is necessary. Because personal values can play an important role. Such as starting a family, and pursuing an education. Or living with a partner may require people to move away from their aging parents. They may prioritize their own goals over staying close to their parents.
Guilt When Moving Away from Elderly Parents
- Many grown-up children feel like they have to take care of their old parents. But it can be tiring and upsetting. It’s alright to make decisions that are good for both the child and the parent.
- Sometimes, people might feel like they have to be a good child or family member. But they also have their own dreams and goals to pursue. It’s important to think about what’s important to you and make sure your choices match those values.
- Children may feel bad about leaving their parents alone and worry that they’ll regret it later. However, love can still exist even if you’re not physically together. Sometimes, cultural expectations can make it hard to leave a parent alone. But it’s okay to adapt those expectations to suit your own needs.
- Sometimes, parents might try to make their children feel guilty about leaving them alone. But it’s okay to take care of your own health and happiness. And talk openly with your parent about your decision.
How to Cope With the Guilt of Moving Away from An Elderly Parent
- Walking away from an elderly parent can be tough and cause guilt. However, it’s important to remember you’re making the best decision for your situation.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Taking care of an elderly parent can be overwhelming. So it’s okay to ask for assistance from family, friends, or professional caregivers.
- Even short breaks can prevent caregiver burnout. You can also consider respite care for temporary relief.
- Make time for everyone, including yourself. Don’t forget to take care of yourself while caring for your elderly parent.
- Schedule time for activities you enjoy, and maintain social connections with friends and family. This can help prevent loneliness and sadness.
- Be patient and compassionate. Try to understand that some things don’t change. Caring for an elderly parent can be challenging.
- So by staying patient and compassionate and trying to focus on what you can control.
- Communicate clearly to set boundaries. It’s important to set boundaries to prevent caregiver burnout and maintain a healthy relationship with your parent.
- This may include limiting the amount of time you spend caregiving or saying no to certain requests. Communicate your boundaries clearly and kindly.
- To handle your emotions, it’s important to identify where they’re coming from, like reflecting on your relationship with your parent.
- Once you’ve identified the source of your emotions, allow yourself to feel them without judgment.
- Talking to a therapist or support group can be helpful to process your emotions and develop coping strategies.
- Remember to prioritize your own emotional well-being to become a better support system for your parent. You’re not alone, and there is support available to help you.
- Using technology and other ways to stay connected can help you feel less guilty about not being there for important moments in your parent’s life.
How to Help Your Elderly Parents from A Distance
- If you’re moving away from your elderly parents, talk to them about it, but don’t expect them to be happy about it right away.
- Don’t promise to visit more than you can handle. Teach your parents how to use technology, so they can stay in touch with you.
- Get help locally to support your parents with daily tasks. And decide how caregiving responsibilities will be shared among your family.
- Stay in touch with your parents regularly by calling, video chatting, and emailing to learn about their well-being.
- Hire someone to help your parents with tasks they can’t do themselves, like cooking and taking medication.
- Use technology to keep an eye on your parent’s health and safety by using sensors. Or devices that track vital signs like blood pressure.
- Plan visits and vacations to spend time with your parents and do things together.
- Get support from a therapist. Or support groups to help you cope with the emotional impact of caring for elderly parents.
- Caring for an elderly parent can be difficult. So be kind to yourself and acknowledge that you’re doing the best you can.