Caring For Elderly Parents? A Guide To Make Your Journey Easier

Parents take on the sole responsibility for every aspect of a child’s well-being. From ensuring their safety to being part of every life event big or small, all children look to their parents for love and support. But when parents begin to age, becoming responsible for their well-being can be an overwhelming feeling.

It certainly doesn’t make for an easy decision either. There are several factors you have to consider, and there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to follow. We have put together a list of some things you can do so you are prepared to take on this responsibility. Let’s take a look.

Planning Your Finances

Between 2010 and 2020, the population of those over the age of 65 in the U.S. grew by 15.5 million. Partially propelled by the now swiftly aging baby boomer demographic, it is the largest 10-year increase.

At the time of the 2020 census, about one in six Americans were at the age of 65 or older. As a result, industry trends have adapted, and there are a lot more facilities now available to make the life of the elderly as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.

At the same time, there has been a strong uptake in the cost of living and caring for elderly parents, depending on their specific needs can be an expensive affair. It is, therefore, important that you assess your finances in advance.

Here are some things to keep in mind as you plan:

  • Will your parents require partial or round-the-clock care?
  • Are your parents able to move around freely, or will they require assistance?
  • Does your parent have any illnesses that will require additional care and treatment?
  • Will you be able to take on the responsibility of providing care, or will you need assistance?

There are also government programs you can avail of, which can help in providing care for the elderly.

Caring For Parents That Are Ill

While we would like to take care of our parents the way they took care of us, sometimes the situation requires us to take additional steps.

Parents who have health issues like Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia will require more medical attention. Wilkes University points out how a psychiatric nurse practitioner is certified to provide mental healthcare to patients as well. If your parent has mental health needs, you could consider enlisting specialist care of this kind.

It is worth noting that this situation can also take a toll on your mental health. It is not easy to see a parent go through these illnesses. As important as it is to ensure the wellbeing of your parents, it is equally crucial that you take care of yourself and don’t hesitate to ask for help if you need it.

Nursing Homes vs. At-Home Care

The decision between choosing a nursing home or opting for at-home care is intrinsically linked to the amount of care your parent requires and your ability to provide it. If your parent is generally healthy and can manage most of their own needs, you could opt for at-home care and enlist the services of a caretaker to watch over your parent.

If your parents require a little more care at home, you can look for professionals who are specialized in their field while still providing at-home care. If you are hiring a nurse, for example, check to see if they have completed BSN to MSN online programs or have a PhD in nursing. While nurses with a Master of Science (MSN) degree or PhD will be more qualified, they will likely have a higher fee as well.

In some cases, however, parents will require round-the-clock professional care that is difficult to provide at home. In this situation, you could opt for a nursing home instead.

Nursing homes are equipped to tend to all of your parents’ needs and have doctors on call for any medical emergencies. Moreover, some elderly parents might prefer nursing homes as they allow them to interact with others throughout the day and make friends. Many nursing homes also offer recreational activities to keep members entertained and engaged.

Additionally, you can trust that the nursing home will ensure all their nurses, doctors, and caregivers meet the qualification requirements.

Include Your Parents in the Process

There are a few broad steps you can take to better equip yourself to provide your aging parents with the care they need. Perhaps the most important step, however, is to make sure that you consider their opinion and point of view throughout the decision-making process.

Some decisions might seem easier logistically or financially, but your parents might not be happy with that option at all. At the end of the day, the goal is to make sure that they can live a happy and healthy life. Therefore, they should be given a say in every decision about their future while keeping their best interests In mind.



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