Caring For Elderly Parents: Support, Solutions, and Resources

Caring For Elderly Parents

Did you notice some concerning changes in your parents over the past few days? Are they forgetting some basic things? Or maybe they are withdrawing from their hobbies or the gathering they love. Well! It means your aging parents need help to stay safe, secure, and healthy. 

You may not be ready for their move to senior living, but it’s happening now and you have to do something. Figure out their needs, understand the options, and make some decisions that would be helpful. Most importantly, ask yourself, how do I take care of my elderly parents? Well! We try to make it a bit easy for you. Here we’ll provide you with some easy steps to help you to make your parents as healthy and happy as possible. 

Step-by-Step Guide to Care for Your Aging Parents

1- Assess their Needs

Taking care of your parents can be overwhelming as you are not sure what exactly to do. To get over this issue, you have to understand how much help your parents need with daily life chores. Consider things like their home safety, medical needs, mobility, meal preparation, personal hygiene, and social protection. 

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If they are not doing good with these things, you have to hire a caretaker who can assist them. He would help them with self-care activities like bathing, feeding, dressing, toilet hygiene, and moving about the house. However, you can also think of some adaptive equipment or accessories that make self-care activity easier like a walker, shower chair, etc. 

2- Determine your Abilities to Provide them with Care 

We all are concerned when it’s a matter of our parents’ health and care. And if you can’t give them the support they need, it will negatively impact their life. So you have to consider some factors like:

  • Are you free enough to spend hours with your parents that they need? 
  • Are you willing to learn how to be a proper caregiver? 
  • Do you have a good relationship with your parents to spend quality time with them? 
  • Do you have any health problems that might not allow you to take care of them? 

These questions can be difficult to answer, but you have to be honest with yourself first. Do not hesitate or worry about hiring help or looking for other ways to support them. 

3- Explore their Living Arrangement Options 

Living arrangements for your aged parents are based on several factors like their health, budget, and others. Daily life arrangements change as one gets old. However, our parents prefer to age at home while maintaining their privacy and independence. Living with relatives can also be an option that may give them care and companionship. 

Some assisted living communities offer a set up in services such as personal care, medication, and transportation, so you can consider them. Moreover, you can also hire nursing homes that provide them all day long medical care. 

4- Create a Safe Space for them 

Once you get clear with where your parents will live, create a safe space for them. That space should support both physical and emotional needs as both are imperative aspects of aging. Here are some steps you can take:

  • Reduce fall risk: Remove obstacles or any other hassles from the floor. Even take care of uneven flooring. 
  • Enhance accessibility: Install handrails in the home, especially in the bathroom and kitchen. 
  • Store goods within hand or arm reach: Limit crouching by keeping things within their hand or arm reach. 
  • Get an alert system: A medical alert system helps your parents a lot in contacting emergency services. 

5- Take Care of Basics Households

Help out your parents with instrumental activities of daily life. These activities may include cooking meals, shopping, cleaning, paying bills, answering phone calls, taking medication, and running errands. Some of them happen daily, while others are weekly or monthly based. 

You can take the help of technology to perform some tasks like answering phone calls or paying bills. However, you can also assign such activities to a family member or hire a professional caretaker.

6- Talk to your Community 

Whether you decide to be the primary caregiver or hire someone, community support always helps. Talk to your neighbors, friends, and family to step in when they feel something unusual or to visit when you can’t make it.

A strong and supportive community is very important at all life stages. However, it would be difficult to ask for help, but you will find that people want to help out and your parents will be doing good in the end. 

7- Address Financial Issues 

Finances can be a major factor in how you would take care of your aging parents. However, some seniors are eligible for government assistance and some caregivers will also be eligible for tax relief by claiming an aged parent as a dependent. Moreover: 

  • Aged parents may receive tax-free assistance sometimes. 
  • Disability benefits will cover some of the care costs. 
  • Insurance policies also help you with expenses.

8- Make the Conversation Going 

Keep a check and evaluate your parents’ care. Their requirements may change quickly so you must monitor their care instead of who provides it. An open conversation also helps to know their wishes. When you make the conversation going they talk about their concerns that make them happy.