More than 30 million Americans have taken on the role of caregiver to an adult over the age of 50. Despite an astounding number of senior caregivers, many fail to realize how overwhelming the position can be.
If you’re wondering how you can make taking care of elderly parents less overwhelming, you’ve come to the right place. Continue reading to learn five helpful tips for creating a more balanced, comfortable situation for everyone.
- Know What Your Parents Want in Advance
It can be hard to have the “big talk” with your parents, but you must do it as soon as possible. A few essential questions to ask include:
- Where do your parents want to live when they get older?
- If they want to live with a family member, which one is that?
- How do they plan on affording or contributing to their care?
- What are their finances like overall for the latest years of retirement?
These are only the most basic questions to ask. There may be other important questions, depending on your parent’s health, age, and other facts.
- Assess How Much Care Your Parents Will Need
Most people develop mild to moderate health issues as they grow older. They may only need someone to check in on them and run errands. Or they could only need assistance with daily tasks but are otherwise in decent health.
However, some people will have serious health issues that significantly impact their ability to care for themselves. They may need daily nurse visits at home or 24/7 medical care in a dedicated facility.
- Enlist Assistance as Necessary
Caring for an elderly parent can be time-consuming and often overwhelming. You should enlist assistance as necessary, so your parent receives the care they need while you get a small break. A few examples of options include:
- Installing a home-monitoring system for mostly self-sufficient parents
- Using senior day camps
- Having another family member or close friend sit with your parent one or two times a week
- Having an at-home nurse visit during the day
- Ask your sibling if they’ll watch your parents for one weekend a month
- Use meal delivery services
- Hire a housekeeper
Any solution that helps ease your responsibilities should be considered. It can be easy to “just do it,” but you have to take care of yourself.
- Take Time for Your Own Health
You can’t take care of someone else if you aren’t taking care of yourself first. While caregiver guilt is a genuine issue, remember you need to take time for your own physical and mental health. When you take time for yourself, you’re better able to care for your elderly parent.
- Be Smart About Finances
Taking care of elderly parents can be financially straining. Understand how your parents can contribute and take advantage of any resources available to you. Ensuring your parents have medical insurance, for example, and seeing if you qualify for any programs.
Do You Have More Questions About Taking Care of Elderly Parents?
Taking care of elderly parents is as exhausting as it is rewarding. The five tips above can help you create the most balanced, comfortable situation for everyone.
Do you have more questions about taking care of elderly parents?
Check out our other blog posts. You’ll find a wealth of information on related topics that will help you understand the topic better.