Caring for aging parents has become a very prominent scenario in society today, especially with the health care crisis. It is reported that around 50 million individuals care for their aging parents that are disabled, dying, or chronically ill. There are many ways to care for an aging parent, however it can be an arduous task to care of them on top of the personal load that one might already have. The basic element that must be considered among all things is giving them the care they deserve.
Tips on Compassionate Care Giving:
- When caring for aging parents give them respectful care of their own independence.
- If they are capable of making some decisions allow them to do so.
- Set reasonable standards on your aging parent’s independence and capabilities
- Leave the lines of communication open by discussing their frustrations, concerns, and desires. Remember to be a good listener
- Always keep in mind your aging parents best interests and make decisions upon that principle
- Always express patience, understanding, and compassion in every decision you make.
There are many challenges of caring for aging parents that may be presented things such as legal assistance, financial guidance, medical care mediation, and legal affair decision making. Here are several tips to caring for an aging parent and making the task as simple as possible:
1) Communicate- In any issues in caring for your aging parents such as financial, medical, or personal make sure you discuss and cover all boundaries where they may need the most assistance and establish what they want to accomplish independently.
2) Take care of estate planning- Encourage your aging parents to make crucial decisions now such as power of attorney, living wills, and advance directives. This will assist them to make the decisions they want in the events that in the future they may not have those choices.
3) Establish a medical portfolio- Keep track of all medical documentations such as prescribed medicines, medicines that result in allergies, contact information for health professionals, and medical history of tests and procedures. Also work on preventative measures by educating yourself on your aging parent’s health risks and history.
4) Financial order- Review your parents financial circumstances and assist them in finding long-term solutions for care. Check into medical insurances and see what they do and do not cover as far as care should your parents need hands on care. Make sure they have established power of attorney in the situation of death, so that their financial affairs can be handled appropriately.
5) Pre-plan for funerals- Make arrangements for burials and funerals and discuss these options with your aging parents. It can assist in a financial burden in the future for family members if this is established prior to the necessity for a funeral. Burial contracts can be purchased at any time in one’s life.
6) Age-proof home- Make sure that if your aging parent is still living at home that you safeguard the environment for when you cannot supervise. Things such as setting up medications by utilizing the nifty pill boxes that are available, installing safety hardware in the home like grab bars and mobility mechanisms, and tapping resources such as elder meal delivery.
7) Get assistance from other resources- Join support groups that can relate to caring for aging parents. There are also online networks that can give advice, tips, and are very resourceful for any need one might have. Lastly, you can ask for help when you feel overwhelmed by having other family members, and friends give you respite or you can contact your local area agency on aging to see what they have to offer for your aging parents.