When you’re a child, your parents will often do many things to take care of you and make sure you’re safe. As you grow older, you start to become more independent and do your own things, such as buying a home and getting married. However, as your parents get older, sometimes the tables can turn, and they may need your help and support to keep them safe. If you are in this situation, here are effective ways of helping older parents care when they need it.
Helping Older Parents:
First, Assess Their Needs
The moment when you first realize your senior mom and dad need your help can be overwhelming and intimidating. These feelings surface because you have never been in this situation before and you want what’s best for your parents.
To help make sense of what is happening, do some research and assess your parent’s needs. Take a step back and think about what will help your parents, in as much detail as possible. For example, find out:
- Do they have any medical needs?
- Are there any issues with cognitive health?
- Is their personal hygiene good?
- Can they move around on their own?
You may be able to get a better idea of what they need by speaking to anyone who is already giving them care. Once you have created a list of your parent’s requirements, you can then set about arranging optimal help and care for them.
Think About Your Own Needs Too
When you care for another person, it can sometimes seem impossible to look after yourself too. However, if you don’t look out for number one, you will find it impossible to sustain caring for another person.
You need to consider all the possibilities, and consider how your decision may impact your life. Given you’ll have to deal with any problems or further issues, the decision you make ought to be the best one for you too.
One option could be for your parents to live with you. However, if you decide to do this, you need to be aware of the amount of time and care that goes with making this living situation work logistically. Fully consider and weigh up your options to ensure you have a working solution that benefits you all in the long run.
Furthermore, be open and honest with your aging mother and father. Discuss all the options with them. There is no point keeping them in the dark as they will be the ones who are impacted the most by the decisions you make going forward.
Helping Aging Parents: Where Do They Want to Go?
Of course, your parents have a say in this situation as much as anyone else. Unless they have severe dementia or have a serious mental health issue, they have a right to be part of a decision as regards to their care as anyone else.
If they are determined to stay in their own home, like my grandma was for a long time, then you may be able to arrange this with the help of home healthcare or some other medical assistance. You may also be able to apply for special grants, if they’re available, to adapt their house to better suit their needs.
Alternatively, in-home care may be a better option, depending on the level of aging parent care needs. For example, they can go from independent living to ongoing medical assistance.
Another alternative is moving to a nursing home. While these homes can be very good at caring for people with long-term medical needs, they are not a place where some seniors want to go.
Understand the Financial Situation
Regardless of your aging parent’s current financial situation, arranging long-term care can become expensive over many years. The cost is also affected by the level of care they need and where they may end up taking up residence.
But it’s tough if a lot of money is necessary to get the best care for them and you have little of it in the bank. Thankfully, there are many grants available to help people with adapting their homes and also getting special equipment.
Your parents may also have assets that they are willing to sell to help pay for long-term care, but this needs to be discussed with all parties involved. But some conditions such as Alzheimer’s can leave your parents unable to deal with their own financial management.
In these circumstances, it may be necessary to seek the Power of Attorney. Doing so can help you arrange proper care for the senior you love so much and deal with the financial commitments simultaneously.
Arrange Additional Support
Even if you upgrade your parent’s house to make it easier for them to live independently, they may still require ongoing support, which you will need to figure out. For example, they still might not be able to cook their meals, change the bed sheets, and do laundry. In these situations, you may need to bring in a support worker to help them.
It might mean hiring someone to come in to do these jobs for them, or maybe even you could arrange this help between yourself and the rest of the family. In these situations, it can be better for the family to help out. This is because it allows your parents to see members of the family regularly. Also, it gives them people to talk to, so they’re less likely to feel lonely.
When It Comes to Helping Older Parents, Be There for Them
Getting older can be a scary and emotionally upsetting experience at times. This statement is especially true if your parents suffer from an illness and find they can no longer do the things they used to do.
That’s why it’s important above all things that you are there for them to speak with and support them. They will find your company comforting and can help to prevent them from becoming depressed, especially if they spend a lot of time alone.
Trying to decide what’s best for helping older parents in this situation can be very difficult. Thus, it’s important that you seek help and advice from as many people as possible to make the most sensible and appropriate decision possible.