Caring for your aging parents is a bit of a paradoxical situation. You live your whole life with these people as your rock, taking care of your needs, and giving you the tools you need to survive. Then they age, and you are charged with tending to your parent’s needs.
However strong you may be, the position is challenging to fulfill. It helps to educate yourself. Take a moment now to read through some tips that will help you better care for your aging parents whether the time is now or soon to come.
Accept support from others
You may feel a bit of reluctance to ask for help caring for your elderly parents, but there’s no shame in asking others to carry the torch on occasion. Your siblings, friends, and extended family members are all an excellent first line of defense against becoming overwhelmed.
Find people in your circle who are willing to tackle smaller tasks. You can ask a sibling to do some grocery shopping. Get help with maintaining the dishes, or get some help with transportation to a doctor’s appointment.
Even willing helpers who live out of town can be of assistance. Out of towners can make important phone calls, help manage the payment of bills, or research possible healthcare solutions.
Utilize community resources
Most communities provide some level of assistance for caregivers and their parents. Take the help your community offers. You can typically find meal delivery programs, caregiving companions, and transportation services for your aging parents with just a quick online search.
Inform your employer of the situation
It’s wise to let your employer know about your shifting role in your parents’ lives. Being transparent about the situation will help your employer prepare for various accommodations you’ll need to provide the right care for your parents. You may need to file for FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) at some point, so it’s good to give your employer a heads up.
Work with your parent on legal issues
Your aging parents may not yet have aligned all of their proverbial ducks. Help them get their legal ducks in a row by walking them through the paperwork.
Help your parents’ most basic of wishes be observed by putting them down on paper. Discuss whether or not your parent wants a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order. Discuss their progress on a last will and testament.
Take the time to care for yourself
Finally, make sure to take time for yourself. You can’t give your parents your best effort if you aren’t taking care of yourself first. Make sure you get plenty of rest. Make sure to carve out personal time, and do your best not to overextend your time.