6 Ways To Plan For The Senior Caregiving Expedition

6 Ways to Prepare for the Senior Caregiving Journey

Learn How You Can Prepare For Senior Care As Your Parents Start To Age.

The journey of looking after aging parents captures a lot of us unsuspectedly.  As our parents get in the difficult stage of old age, we’re torn between our eagerness to help and their wishes to maintain their freedom as well as control.

It’s a struggle that many families face with aging parents. Elderly parents return home from the hospital with intermittent services like home health.  After a few weeks, they are no longer eligible for these skilled services at home.  Many elderly parents also refuse the help of assisted living facilities. Assisted living facilities can be an exceptional preventative measure for aging parents.  With no one to care for them at home, the chances of an accident increase as mobility decreases.

According to a recent research study by the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, more than 60+ million individuals in the United States look after chronically ill, impaired or aging members of the family.  Making efficient decisions regarding the care of a family member typically takes more time than you expect and also requires an understanding of the often complex long-term care system.  However, a proactive approach can produce much better choices when the time comes and can help avoid a family dilemma.

Though the caregiving adage is to “expect the unexpected,” below are some steps you can take to prepare more effectively for senior care.

1. Interact Early And Often

6 Ways to Plan for the Senior Caregiving Expedition

It is very important to understand your parents’ preferences as they age.  Do not make assumptions regarding what kind of care they might or might not accept. Instead, ask.

2. Respect Your Parent’s Self-Sufficiency

Instead of beginning with an admonition (e.g., “You need to …”), lead with a compassionate statement such as, “I am worried about you because if you continue to live alone, you may fall and break a bone.” Which could lead to immobilization or even death.

3. Learn About Elderly Care

Learn about the various types of treatment options as well as payment choices.  Many caretakers panic when they realize Medicare will not pay for long-term care in a nursing home and the typical cost is $75,000 annually.  Become versed on the difference between Medicare and Medicaid.

4. Start Slowly

A defiant parent is common.  At first, you should attempt to introduce assistance gradually.  As an example, hire an elderly caretaker once a week to clean up or drive your parent to a medical appointment. This may allow your mother or father to slowly get used to the concept of needing help.

5. Search For Professional Advice

6 Ways to Plan for the Senior Caregiving Expedition

The assistance of a social worker, geriatric care manager, financial advisor or elder law attorney can go a long way in directing you through the legal, financial and emotional difficulties of caregiving.

6. Take Care Of Yourself First

As easy as it may sound, many caretakers disregard this crucial step and burn themselves out.  You can not look after others if you disregard your very own needs.  That’s the quickest way to snap– which brings about regret– which results in you neglecting yourself even more.

Being proactive about caregiving will certainly help you set the stage to be with each other as your parent’s age and require assistance.  Someday, you may be comforted to know that as a result of preparing, you were better able to provide the very best care available and intelligently navigate the caregiving journey.