If you are becoming a caregiver for your elderly parents, you are not alone. An estimated 40 million Americans provide unpaid care for elderly loved ones, the vast majority of whom are caring for their parents.
Knowing how to care for aging parents is a complicated question, without a single, straightforward answer. No two elderly care arrangements are the same, with levels of care required different vastly from family-to-family.
However, there are some essential tips for caring for your parents in their old age that will help them enjoy a good quality of life while minimizing your own stress. Read on to find out the essential tips to keep in mind when caring for elderly parents.
1. How to Care for Aging Parents: Questions to Ask
Before getting into the caregiver tips you need to know, it is worth covering the essential questions you need to ask. Knowing the answer to these will help you determine the appropriate care arrangements. Key questions are:
- How independent are your elderly parents?
- Are your parents on life-saving medication?
- Is your or your parent’s home suitable for caregiving?
- What is the long-term plan for caregiving?
2. Remember Some Essential Items
When approaching elder care, there are a few crucial items that every caregiver should have to hand. These include:
- A medical alert system, such as a bracelet or smartwatch
- Easy access to all medications
- Prescribed medical devices such as inhalers, dialysis devices, and scooters
- Communication tools
- An automated external defibrillator (AED)
3. Make Sure You Receive Financial Help
One of the most important elder care tips to keep in mind is to make sure that you and your elderly parents are receiving the support they are entitled to. Many caregivers worry that they will be forced to drain their life savings in order to provide care for their parents.
However, this is not the case. Government programs such as Medicaid and Veteran’s Aid provide long-term financial and medical support for elderly people. Although these are notoriously complicated programs to navigate, you can consult specialty elderly care law firms such as Elder Law Firms, who will navigate the system on your behalf.
4. Have an Emergency Plan in Place
Although we do not want to think about the worst-case scenario, it is essential to be prepared. If an elderly parent’s condition deteriorates or if they have an accident, being able to respond quickly is absolutely critical.
Nominate people who can cover your other duties such as childcare in case of an emergency. Prepare a list of essential emergency contacts. Pack a travel bag with medications, clothes, and supplies that you can grab and go in case of an emergency.
Although the worst may not occur, you should always be prepared in case it foes.
5. Discuss Care with Your Parents
Finally, you should make sure not to exclude your elderly parents from conversations about their care. Aging can be difficult.
It is important not to make them feel like bystanders in the golden years of their life. Discuss the care arrangements that they are comfortable with. See what you can do to guarantee them a level of independence.
Keeping them involved in the discussion is vital for giving them the agency they deserve.
Essential Lifestyle Advice at Your Fingertips
Knowing how to care for aging parents can help you and your parents enjoy a quality lifestyle while staying safe and healthy. For more essential lifestyle advice, we have got you covered. Make sure to consult our expertly curated Lifestyle guides for expert advice on living a better life in 2021 and beyond.
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