While having the right intentions for your aging parent is commendable, caring for them requires planning and long-term commitment. If you plan to care for your senior parent at home, here are seven tips to help make this journey manageable and pleasant for everyone involved.
The mental, emotional, and physical workload of caring for an elderly parent can become burdensome, especially if you have a household to take care of. Can you realistically meet your senior parent’s needs without affecting your own?
Is living at home the best option for them, or would they thrive more at an assisted living facility? Assess your current situation and existing responsibilities. Being honest about your capabilities can prevent unnecessary burnout and family conflicts.
Learn the financial obligations
Maintaining a house can be financially challenging, especially if your senior parent doesn’t have a retirement fund. Aside from the monthly utility bills, you must have sufficient funds to cover urgent property repairs.
Discuss with immediate family members and consider all living options. Check if there are government financial support programs you can take advantage of.
Evaluate their needs
If you’re not living with your elderly parent, you must ensure their basic needs are being sustained. Are they able to engage in essential self-care activities without difficulties? Some basic activities of daily living (ADLs) include dressing, feeding, toileting, ambulating, and personal hygiene.
If your senior loved one struggles with these tasks, consider hiring a caregiver or respite care provider to assist them.
Since seniors are prone to medical emergencies and falls, safety should be a priority when caring for an aging parent at home. Evaluate their living situations and address necessary structural modifications.
Invest in safety equipment or accessories to make their home safer and more secure. Comparing medical alert devices is also vital, as some may not suit your elderly parent’s needs.
Keep them engaged
Socialization is integral for older people, so keeping them active and engaged during their golden years is vital. Encourage them to pursue the activities they used to enjoy and actively search for community events designed for the elderly.
Check online resources and join support groups on social media. Get your senior parent as involved as possible to prevent them from retreating into seclusion.
As your parent age, their needs and demands also increase. Building a support group is essential during this critical period. Sit down with your family and create a senior home care plan together. If you don’t have relatives or trusted friends living nearby, check if there are local organizations that provide senior care assistance.
If you’re your senior parent’s primary caregiver, you must also ensure your needs are being met. Take time to engage in self-care activities, no matter how simple. It can be as simple as going for a night run, having coffee with a friend, or indulging in a relaxing massage. You won’t be able to attend to your elderly loved one’s needs efficiently if you always put yours in the backseat.
Without proper preparation, caring for a senior parent can be highly overwhelming. Take care of yourself, and remember to reach out for help.