None of us want to think about caring for elderly parents, much less talk about it. However, you need to realize that one day your mother or father may require a certain degree of care. The more prepared you are, the less stressful this may be for the entire family.
TAKING CHARGE OF CARING FOR ELDERLY PARENTS
If you are nominated to help with your elder parent’s care, you are going to face a few challenges. According to an article from LifeHacker.com, the first step is to find out what your parent’s wishes and needs are. This is the perfect opportunity to have a family discussion to find out if your parents have any plans in place.
If your parents wish to remain in their own home, you will need to assess the level of assistance they require. Take into account:
- Eating habits – can your parents still cook for themselves?
- Hygiene – are they able to bathe and change clothes? Are they neglecting their cleanliness?
- Memory – are you parents able to deal with mail and keep appointments or have you noticed them becoming more forgetful? Do they leave pots on the stove to burn?
- Mobility – are your parents still mobile? Can they get up and down the stairs, in and out of bed, and shower without falling? Are they able to drive safely?
The stress of taking care of elderly parents can be immense. If you decide that home care for your elderly parents is the best way to go, use the following five tips to make the transition easier.
5 STEPS TO MAKING YOUR ELDERLY PARENTS’ CARE A PAINLESS PROCESS
Anticipate Their Caring Needs
Gather the family together to discuss how you will care for mom or dad before there is a crisis situation. According to an interesting article from WebMD, Anticipating the level of care required and who will look after your parents are best decided upon before an emergency happens. Sit the family down and discuss what you want to do and who will be responsible for what from financial, healthcare, and everyday care perspectives.
Openly Discuss It With Your ParentsYou need to discuss these issues with your parents while they are still in good physical and mental health. Talk about things like healthcare, assisted living, where your parents would like to live, and who they would prefer to take care of their finances and daily activities.
Talk About Finances
The stress of taking care of elderly parents is immense without having to worry about finances. Enlist the help of a financial planner if you plan on looking after your parent alone, or if your parent’s finances aren’t in order.
Consider The Cost Of Keeping Parents At Home
Most elderly parents prefer to remain in the familiarity of their own home, surrounded by their memories and possessions. Determine how much it will cost to keep your parents in their home if any renovations need to be made to accommodate their changing mobility needs, and how much it will cost to enlist the help of someone to run errands, do chores, and manage their daily needs. You may not be able to handle all of this yourself, especially if you have a full-time job and your own family to look after.
Consider Professional Assistance
Caring for elderly parents can be challenging, particularly if their needs are extensive. You may want to consider professional in-home assistance from someone who can create a care plan and identify your parent’s needs and then match them with the appropriate services. The responsibility for looking after an aging parent can be daunting, so it’s important to remember that you can reach out for help with your elderly parent’s care.