It can be difficult to care for elderly parents, especially if you juggle work demands and raising your children. However, there are some things that all adult children should know to provide the best possible care for their parents. Here are a few key points to get started.
1. Have a Conversation about Their Wishes
The first step in caring for elderly parents is to discuss their wishes. This conversation should include topics such as what kind of medical care they would like to receive, where they would like to live, and how they would like to be cared for if they cannot care for themselves. Having this conversation early on will make it easier to make decisions.
2. Know Their Financial Situation
It is also important to know your parents’ financial situation. It includes understanding their income, assets, and debts. This information will help make decisions about their care and planning for their future.
3. Put Together a Care Plan
Once you understand your parent’s wishes and financial situation, you can create a care plan. This plan should include who will provide care, what care will be provided, and how the care will be paid for. It is important to have this plan in place, so everyone is on the same page and knows what is expected of them.
4. Stay Involved in Their Care and Take Care of Yourself Too
Staying involved in your parent’s care is important. It means regularly checking in with them to see how they are doing and whether or not they are receiving the care they need. It is also important to be available to help with anything they may need, such as transportation or assistance with activities of daily living.
It’s also important to remember to take care of yourself while you are caring for your elderly parents. It can be a difficult balancing act, but it’s important to ensure that you care for your physical and mental health.
5. Be Prepared for Changes
As your parents age, their needs will likely change. It is important to be prepared for these changes and be flexible in your approach to their care. For example, if your parent begins to experience dementia, you may need to adjust the care plan accordingly. Additionally, if your parent moves into a nursing home or assisted living facility, you must be prepared to take on a new role in their life.
Caring for elderly parents can be challenging, so it’s important to be patient and understanding. They may not be able to do things the way they used to, and they may need help with things you never expected. Remember that they are still the same people you have always known and loved, despite any changes that come with age.
6. Seek Support When Needed and Be Ready For Emergencies
Caring for elderly parents can be challenging, both emotionally and physically. It is important to seek support when needed to continue providing quality care for your loved ones. It’s important to be prepared for falls or medical emergencies. A plan can help you respond quickly and effectively in an emergency.
It’s important to remember that your elders are people, too, with their thoughts and feelings. So before making assumptions about what they need or want, take the time to talk to them and listen carefully. They may not want help with everything, but there are likely some areas where they could use assistance. Be prepared to offer both emotional and practical support as needed.