As our parents age, it will get harder to find the balance between providing the care they need and allowing them to live autonomously in their own home. When it comes to senior care, it is wise to create a plan early to make the lives of everybody in the household a little easier when the time comes.
To prepare for the inevitable, here are the things you must do to ensure that your parents will be able to live comfortably and safely.
Talk to Them
It will not be pleasant to talk about senior care way before your parents need them, but it will save you a lot of stress later on. As a family, you need to sit down and discuss the options available to them.
They can remain at home yet still have assistance from a professional. In an event of an injury or illness, services like SerenityHomeHealth.com will be able to send skilled nurses to your parents’ home to care for them when they are unable to live on their own. Moving to a nursing home is also an option, although they may prefer to stay with you and your family.
Have the discussion about their future living arrangements early to avoid any conflict or confusion when your aging parents need care.
Observe Your Parents’ Daily Habits
You should also begin observing your parents’ daily habits so you can spot potential problems early or if they already need help now. Look at the contents of their fridge and evaluate whether they are eating healthy (and maybe throw out food that has passed its expiration date). Assess if they can still keep their home clean or if something needs to be repaired/removed/replaced. These are things that you need to monitor regularly. Your parents may not admit to themselves or to you that they need help so watch out for the warning signs.
Make Their Home Elderly-Friendly
Make changes within their home that will allow them to live safely and comfortably on their own. This means adding handrails inside the bathroom, placing a non-slip carpet under the sink, lowering cabinets to a level they can reach, and installing stairlifts. These additions will minimize the possibility of accidents and injuries inside your parents’ home and assure you that they are safe and comfortable on their own.
Speak to an Expert
Talk to a social worker, a geriatric care manager, or an elder law attorney about the condition of your parents. They will be able to give you helpful advice as well as point out potential problems you or your loved one may face in the future. A friend who has cared for an aging parent may want to share their experience as a caregiver and prepare you for any challenge you will face.
Get Their Estate and Finances in Order
You will have to collect information about available insurance policies and review that the current arrangements are appropriate for their needs. Look into their retirement savings and other assets so you have an idea if they have enough to spend for their daily necessities and in an event of hospitalization or in-house care. It is also a good time to talk to them about creating a will or making changes if it no longer reflects their current wishes.
Take Care of Yourself
Caring for a senior can be stressful and tiring. In fact, many caregivers experience burnout because they give everything they have and forget about their own needs. In order to care for others, you first have to care about yourself. Set aside time for you to relax or be engaged in your hobbies and make sure that you are eating healthily and getting enough sleep. If you have siblings, the responsibility should not fall solely on you. Ask your brothers and sisters for help.
There are many ways to make things work for you and your elderly loved one. All you need is to make the necessary preparations beforehand so you will not be overwhelmed.