Wednesday, July 22, 2020

New Caregivers: A Guide to Caring for Elderly Parents

Have you fallen into the role of an informal caregiver for your parents? If so, keeping your aging parents in their home and ensuring they’re comfortable can be an immensely rewarding process to take on.

At the same time, if you don’t take the right steps, it’s not just your parents who could suffer—your own wellbeing can also take a downturn.

To prevent this from happening, this guide is here to help you through the procedure of looking after your aging parents.

Understand the level of care required

As a starting point, it’s important you understand just how much care your parents require. It can be easy to get overwhelmed when planning out a caregiving “to-do” list, so make sure you take a step back for the full picture.

Begin by creating a daily, weekly, and monthly list with the necessary care tasks. To put together this list, watch your parents for a few days and see which areas call for assistance. 

Don’t compromise your own health

As mentioned in the opening section of this article, it’s all too easy for your own health to be compromised when caregiving. One way of avoiding this is by being realistic about the amount of care you can supply.

For example, if you take on too many tasks, you will quickly burn out and this can potentially lead to a serious health condition. If this happens, you may not be in any position to care for anyone.

Share the responsibilities

With the previous point in mind, look at ways in which you can share the responsibilities of caregiving. Do you have any siblings or close relatives that have the time to help out on a regular basis? Even if it’s just one day a week, it can give you a significant break.

In addition, you could look for adult day programs in the local area. It offers them a chance to socialize with others, while you can enjoy a much-needed rest.

Receive professional help

If you can afford to do so, you should also look into the possibility of enlisting a professional caregiver. To use as an example, a professional can cover a multitude of different tasks in a compassionate, diligent manner. These tasks range from preparing meals to helping with laundry.

Along with your parents receiving the best level of care, it also relieves a considerable amount of work from your shoulders. You should still provide a helping hand as well, of course, but you get much more time to yourself.

Lessen the financial pressure

It might be cheaper than placing your aging parents in a nursing home, but caregiving can still place a notable financial burden on you and your family. Due to this, it’s worth exploring ways in which you can cut down on costs. This can be everything from reducing the price of prescription drugs to finding government benefit programs that assist with costs.

In summary, you need to be aware that looking after an elderly parent is notoriously tough and stressful, but the tips outlined in this guide can certainly help you to cope better.


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