Being adults, we do not need anyone to help in any of the activities, but the situation gets completely changed when aging strikes. Generally, aged people ask for help from the family members themselves, such as their spouse, siblings, or adult children. Family members are always considered as the long-term care support for aged people. A little help with transportation, help with regular chores and arranging some assistance with shopping are considered some of the basic activities that aged people look for assistance. But sometimes, this could be troublesome for other members of the family in some situations. There could be an aged person who is suffering from dementia or any memory-related issues. There could also be a case of chronic diseases where your loved one needs frequent hospitalization. Hence it becomes difficult in such cases. Here we will discuss a few of the common issues that most people encounter while helping their aging partners.
1. Explore various aging care alternatives
If you are a working professional or already have some added responsibilities, it could be overwhelming to take care of your age-old parents and look after their needs. In such cases, you can always consider looking for aging care alternatives such as HeritageCare to make things easy for you. There are various resources available to choose from. Talking about Geriatric Care managers, here they act as a consultant to help you with your parents’ needs. Since they are experienced, they can certainly help you with many things when it comes to caring for aged people. The second option would be to hire in-house caregiving help. With this, there would be a dedicated person assigned for your loved ones to take care of them. You can either approach the home care agency or hire privately. The third option would be assisted living communities where your parents can be taken care of 24 x 7. Getting help from the Area Agency on Ageing can also help you with taking care of your loved ones. Generally, this is a county-level government office that helps local seniors through various programs and resources.
2. Address their needs
The first thing that you would need to look after is their needs. Taking care of your parents could get overwhelming sometimes, and you get confused about what to do further. In this case, make sure to think about their needs to execute your further steps. Some of the areas that you would need to focus on our family support, home safety, medical needs, cognitive health, mobility, personal hygiene, meal preparation, social interaction, etc. Make sure to keep a caregiving notebook along with you to note down your progress and the services that your loved ones require. You would need to always think about how much support or assistance they are already getting in the above-mentioned areas and what kind of help they need, especially if your loved one is suffering from any severe disease or staying away from them. If you are not visiting with your aged parents, then you can arrange a driver who can get them to the doctor or get essential things for them whenever required.
3. Think about your abilities
We understand that everyone goes through a different situation and has different capabilities. Hence it would be wrong to make any assumptions about your parent’s needs. Since this whole process could be overwhelming for some, it is important to understand your capabilities while making any caretaking plan for your elder ones. You would need to ask certain questions to yourself. If your health is allowing you to take care of others or not? do you live close by your loved ones or not? Whether the house belongs to you or them if you wish to stay with them? if you have any negative side in your relationship, discuss. If you possess a certain personality that gives care and affection and are ready to learn the process of aged people care?
Asking these questions to yourself would certainly show you a clear path to proceed further. In the end, we all want our parents to stay healthy and safe. You will certainly be a caring child if you look out for their safety and health issues and help with the required arrangements.
4. Look for home safety basics
Safety is the major concern that you would need to deal with while taking care of your parents. We generally face many safety hazards in our house frequently, which can also affect our aged ones. You can prevent them from falling while walking as long as they are independent to walk alone. You can take care of few things while making sure about their safety.
Here is the first thing that you would need to ensure that all the walkaways and floors are free from all the rugs, clutters, and cords. The second thing would be to add the railings on the stairs and grab bars in the bathroom. You can also update your lights in all the rooms so that they would be brighter and easily accessible for them. Here, make sure the appliances in your house are in working condition and easily accessed by them. You can also minimize the need to use step stools.
5. Understand your financial situation
Taking care of your old ones also requires money, so it is advisable to estimate the possible future spends. You can always think of the medical care they would require, such as everyday cost, caregiving supplies, medicines, etc. If your parents wish to do it on their own, then it is important to assess their financials first. There are various government programs through which your parents can get financial assistance for long-term care.
6. Keep your parents involved
Taking care of your parents can seem to be a little dominating at times, especially when your parents do not like to be in control. Hence it is important to involve your parents in this plan and process to make things easy for you. Ensure to never implement any changes quickly and give them some time to adapt to the new things.