Parents provide nurturing and love to their children as they transition into adulthood. But one day you wake up and the roles are reversed. Most families eventually have to face the stark reality that their elderly parents are experiencing declining health due to aging. Balancing your elderly loved one’s diminishing health with their independence and quality of life requires lifestyle adjustments for all parties involved. Care assessments need to be made and a plan of action developed that best meets the needs of your aging parents.
But how do families adapt to those caregiver needs for their elderly parents while juggling work and managing a household? In most cases, caring for a senior parent sneaks up on families unless prior planning has been done and a game plan formulated. Here are some of the key points to consider while laying the groundwork to assist your aging parents so that they can still live at home.
Devise a Family Care Plan for Your Aging Parents
When it’s becomes apparent that one or both of your aging parents needs some assistance to maintain their daily activities, step one is to call a family meeting. This will serve as a strategy session, at which you all speak openly and honestly regarding your parents’ future care needs.
Think about these topics:
- What resources can each family member provide towards your elderly parents’ care?
- How much care will mom and dad need on a daily, weekly and monthly basis? For example, has one of them had a recent surgery or suffered a stroke that has placed a caretaking burden
- upon their partner?
- Do they have any medical diagnoses, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s, that impair their decision making processes and safety?
- Can your aging parents continue to function at home?
- Who will handle their financial and legal affairs, and do they need a Power of Attorney moving forward?
- Which of the family members will serve as caregivers?
- What is your parents’ current financial status?
In addition to those points, family members should consider sharing the senior care responsibilities to avoid fatigue, both emotional and physical. Remember that all of you have your own lives to manage, and burnout could happen for both the caregivers and their aging parents. A team caregiving effort with many hands involved works best.
Don’t Forget These Daily At Home Care Needs
When your family members have reached a consensus that mom and/or dad need some care to maintain their quality of life, there are several caregiving areas where they might require assistance. Keep in mind that you want your parents to continue to enjoy as much freedom and independence as possible.
Those daily caregiver needs may include:
- Light housework & laundry
- Cooking meals & help with eating
- Shopping, running errands & doctor’s appointments
- Bathing, dressing & using the toilet
- Medication reminders
- Exercise and physical therapy
- Financial affairs & bill paying
- Companionship & social activities
You and your family members can implement the action care plan that you discussed to ensure that these caregiving areas are covered. At some point, taking a break from these duties may be necessary for you and your loved ones. The health of your parents will digress as the days go by, and at times that can be frustrating and emotionally draining.
Professional In Home Caregivers are Available
Even with many family members helping, caring for a senior parent can be physically and mentally taxing. To ensure that your aging parents enjoy their time while they are receiving the best daily care possible, it can become prudent to bring in outside caregiving assistance.
When needed, professional in-home senior caregivers available in your area can be brought in to help your elderly parents get the care they need when you need a much-deserved break. For more information please request a phone call today. Or call us directly at 941-746-8400.