One of the most emotionally challenging times of our lives is when our parents need our help more than we need theirs. Ensuring that you give your parents the help they need in old age can be difficult, but of course, it’s a duty that we must perform. What does it take to ensure that you can help your aging parent or parents in the right ways so that they benefit, but also you aren’t feeling burned out?

Assess Their Needs

The first thing that we need to do is understand what their needs actually are. This means focusing on some of the key areas such as safety in their home, their cognitive health, their social interactions, and their personal hygiene. If they are not getting the relevant support or they can’t support themselves in these areas, how much help do you think they need to stay healthy and safe? For example, if you’ve got parents living in a rural area, are they able to get the help they need? This is why you may need to start thinking about extra help at this point. An in-home caregiver could be one approach, but also, if there are major concerns with regards to their cognitive abilities, now might be the time to think about senior care services. You can learn more about senior care services and how they can benefit your parent, but it’s important to remember that this conversation could prove to be a difficult one, especially if they feel they are more than capable by themselves. It’s vital to assess their needs in a holistic aspect.

Including Your Parents in the Process

If your parent feel they are losing control of their life, this is why it’s so important for you to involve them as much as possible. Rather than seeing them as someone who needs care, it’s far better to make them equal within the process. It may take a few conversations to bring them around, but we have to remember not to force any changes too quickly. Instead, think about a very minimal level of care. For example, if some of the areas they require help involve cleaning their home, hiring a cleaner is a very simple thing that can make a big difference. But unless it’s an emergency situation, you just need to get them used to accept help, and you can do this by only focusing on one or two needs at a time. 

Prioritizing Communication 

If your parents can rely on you, you need to offer help where you can. But it’s important to remember that communication is one of the most crucial aspects in ensuring you can meet their needs. While we tend to think that everybody has a mobile phone these days, if your parent does not have one, now might be the perfect opportunity as this can give you extra peace of mind as they can contact you easily through the touch of a button. Additionally, communication is so important because the impacts of isolation and loneliness can have a detrimental effect on their overall health. Communication can also be beneficial because if your relationship has been strained, starting the communication process all over again could be an amazing thing for both of you.

Understanding the Financial Situation

Caring for an old adult will always cost money. This is why it’s important to estimate future costs so you can be prepared. The cost of their living is one aspect, as is their medical care, caregiving supplies, and food. Once you have a better idea of the financial position, you will be able to understand what sort of help they (and you) can afford. 

Understanding Your Own Abilities to Care

This is just as important. Everybody is at a different place in their lives. You may have young children and it’s important that before you make the assumption you can take on the mantle, you’ve got to look at a number of key components, such as your health, your proximity to them, and your relationship with them. Because it’s not just about the basics in terms of care; it’s about learning how to keep them happy during tough times, while also being willing to learn how to provide semi-professional care. Additionally, you may also want to be aware of the stresses of doing this. And it’s so important to make an honest assessment early on in the process so you don’t become overwhelmed but also are unable to give your parents the care they need. It’s not an easy thing, however, ensuring that you provide an honest assessment of everything at the outset will make everything easier.

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