Caring For an Aging Parent – Tips for Easing the Burden

Caring For an Aging Parent – Tips for Easing the Burden

Posted on November 25, 2013 by ElderCare Phoenix in Blog, Community Resources, Education, Local Events, Medical Supplies, Moving / Organization, Senior Center

Scary. Exhausting. Life-changing. These are just a few of the thoughts that run through an adult child’s head when they start to think about caring for an aging parent. It’s understandable considering multi-generational homes haven’t been common in modern America. But finding a smart eldercare solution doesn’t have to send you running for the headache meds. These tips and tricks will help make finding a caring for aging parent strategy that creates a happier parent—and a more relaxed you.

• Encouraging social activities is an important part of a good eldercare solution. It’s easy to find activities an aging parent might enjoy. For example, many newspapers print a weekly calendar of senior activities. You can also check online for local senior groups. Don’t forget to look for adult day care services as well. These facilities offer a variety of activities, from music lessons to field trips. Adult day services can be an excellent resource for working families or for caregivers who need a few hours of respite care.

Since social contact is a critical part of an eldercare solution, don’t let lack of suitable transportation stop your loved one from finding interesting activities. Your phone book’s city or municipal services section will direct you to senior-friendly transportation.

Your family is another great source of social activities. Start a Sunday brunch tradition or take a walk every Friday evening. Find an activity that everyone—or almost everyone—will enjoy, and then make it a non-negotiable part of your schedule.

• Don’t go it alone. Caring for an aging parent is one of the most stressful family situations. In fact, research shows that family caregivers are more prone to conditions such as depression and anxiety. Get the help you need to care for your parent the right way. For example, ask a crafty neighbor to help pull out and put up holiday decorations or enlist your college-age son to pick up groceries. An eldercare solution is much less stressful if you take the time to look for help.

• Open communication with your parent’s health care team can also ease the burden of caring for an aging parent. Make time to take your senior parent to medical appointments. If you can’t go, ask a trusted family member. By having a second set of ears, you can ensure that everyone understands the doctor’s treatments and recommendations.

Part of a less-stressed eldercare solution includes making copies of a parent’s health care documents, like medical records, insurance policies, etc. By keeping this information at hand, you won’t find yourself scrambling to access important information needed during a medical crisis.

Caring for aging parent strategies should also include learning more about your parent’s health care plans. Do you know how Medicare works? How will Mom apply for Medicaid, and what determines if she’s eligible? Arming yourself with knowledge now will make life easier when unexpected situations happen.

When it comes to creating a caring for aging parent plan, you don’t need to be a quivering, stressed out mess. Prevent future stress by planning your eldercare solution now.

By: Gregory Weldy

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