Caring for Aging Parents
It Can Be Difficult To Know Where To Begin
Caring for aging parents can feel daunting. With all the jargon and new territory, it can be overwhelming; not just for you but for your parent(s) as well. Where can you start when thinking about their care? What do they need? What do you need? Are you in a position to help? There’s a difference between wanting to look after your parents and being able to. You need to make a decision about caring for aging parents and if you’re the right person for the job. We are dedicated to responding to your organization’s needs in a timely manner, every time. We provide a high level of specialized pre-hospital care that helps prevent loss of life and minimizes a patient’s pain. Our professionals are experienced and caring, providing fiscal and operational proficiency concurrent to client goals while reducing overall expenditures in the healthcare system.
Assess Your Parent(s) Needs
Think about 8 key areas:
Family support – how often does your parent(s) want to visit? Do they want to be close?
Home safety – is their home a safe place? Are there too many stairs? Is the layout conducive to their movements i.e. counters the right height etc.
Medical needs – do they have medication that they need to take? Any other medical requirements that need more attention?
Cognitive health – are they able to care for themselves both physically and mentally?
Mobility – do they need assistance going to the grocery store, moving about their home, etc?
Personal hygiene – do they need assistance with everyday hygiene routines?
Meal preparation – are they able to cook for themselves or do they want to cook for themselves?
Social interaction – everyone has different needs for social interaction, what are theirs? Do they play in any game nights? Do they participate in any leagues or boards?
Try keeping a list of these things and make sure you speak to your parent about it. Where they feel they need support may be different than what you see. It’s important to keep them engaged in their own health care.
Be Realistic In Your Abilities
Whatever stage you are at in your life, you need to assess how much time and effort you can really put into caring for aging parents. Some questions you need to ask yourself are to the right –> We all want our parents to have the best care possible. If you’re not the right person to care for them, that’s okay. Arrange the care they need to be supported properly. There is no shame in not having the ability or capacity for caring for aging parents full time. There are plenty of services available to support your efforts.
Assess Your Own Needs & Abilities
Does your own health allow you to care for someone else? Do you live close enough to visit your parent as frequently as they need? Is your parent able to move in with you or you into their home? Do you have a relationship where that would not put a strain on their party? Do you mentaly have the capacity to care for another person? Are you willing to learn how to provide the care that your parent needs?
Involve Your Parents In The Decisions
No one wants to feel like they’ve lost control of their lives. You and your parent should be partners in these decisions. Both parties need to feel heard and comfortable with what happens next, especially when it affects all of your lives. Unless you’re in an emergency situation, take your time and don’t try to force change upon someone else. Listen to their thoughts and their needs, encourage them to have a say in their own lives.
Home Safety Basics
Just as you would in your own home, you want to make sure it’s a safe living space for everyone. That means ensuring any grab bars that need to be in place are, all light switches are easy to reach, and everything your parent(s) need is easily reachable. Check out this list of suggestions for home safety and how you can ensure a home is a safe space for residents and visitors.
Understand The Finances
No matter what services you require, caring for aging parents will cost money. It’s important to make sure that you have a plan in place that will allow you and your parent to pay for whatever care is needed. We highly suggest speaking to your (or your parent’s) financial planner to ensure that everything your parent needs can be paid for.
Make Sure They’re Up To Date With Technology
A universal truth in life is that people need social interaction. In this day and age, technology is a great way to keep in contact with friends and family. Keep your kids in contact with your grandparents using their smartphones or email. Remember though, personal face-to-face interactions are the main event! In case of emergency or for social convenience, make sure your parent knows how to use their phone. That way they’ll have an easy way to call when they need anything or just want to talk.