Tuesday, October 6, 2015

5 Tips for Caring for Aging Parents

There comes a point where the people who took care of you growing up might need your help later in life. 

Caring for an aging parent is something that a lot of us will go through at some point in our lives. In some cases this can mean a large sacrifice of time and money, which can lead to stress and possibly even resentment. Here are five tips to help you through it.

1. Try to establish a routine
Establishing a routine helps everyone know what to expect. It also allows you to see “warning signs” more quickly so that you can take action if it is needed. You’ll be able to notice slight changes more easily. This also takes stress off of you by balancing your time and responsibilities and avoid anxiety and exhaustion.
              
2. Understand the costs and create a budget
Take a comprehensive look at what you are spending or estimate what you would be spending on caregiving. This is also a great point to explore free options or low-cost public benefits that can be available to you and help share the caregiving tasks. If your parents need extensive help or have a special need, it is also the right time to consider professional help and find out how much it would cost and what benefits it provides. 

3. Set Boundaries
Setting boundaries is never an easy thing. However, if no boundaries are set with caregivers, then it’s
easy for you to burn out. Healthy boundaries help set expectations and make sure everyone’s needs are being met. It also helps you maintain a healthy relationship with your parent by respecting those boundaries.

4. Communicate
Creating open lines of communication with everyone involved, including other siblings and between you and your parents will help make the process easier. This helps you anticipate difficult decisions and what the best choices would be for your family before the situation turns into a crisis. It is also important to be very clear about who is responsible for financial decisions. This avoids conflict down the road.

5. Planning Ahead
Not all needs can be anticipated and even when you are a caregiver, you need to be ready for many different situations. One way to do this is to put preventative measures in place so you don’t feel like you need to be hovering over them all the time and still give them a sense of independence. Our Home & Away system can immediately alert authorities if there is an issue that requires assistance so you can have peace of mind while