7 Awesome Caregiving Tips for Keeping Aging Parents At Home
Keeping aging parents at home is a good idea, especially for those who have committed themselves to this cause and don’t want to leave their elderly loved ones in someone else’s care. However, it isn’t all that easy, and it could eventually be the most daunting task of your life. It could be stressful and tough and can also consume your resources, which includes all of your time at the expense of your peace of mind. As a result of this, most caregivers end up burning out or having severe health complications.
Assisted and Senior living is generally expensive so it’s not always an option. Having your loved one in a senior care facility a continuous basis may certainly subject you to living life on a low and losing track of your personal life and experiences. This could make you bitter and have regrets that you didn’t take care of your loved one as you should have, and could even affect your attitude toward others.
There are many cases of seniors who have dementia or Alzheimer’s, making caregiving even more difficult. If you have decided not to take your elderly parents to memory care facilities for seniors or nursing homes for the elderly, then you have to work on reducing the caregiving load on yourself. This will help save some stress and help you serve your parents even better.
Below are some awesome caregiving tips to help you keep your parents at home:
Understand how much care is needed
The first step to helping your elderly parents is to know how much care they need so that you can plan accordingly. You can start by creating a list of all you do to care for them on a daily basis. Do they require your help during the day or more at night or virtually all the time? Do you have to walk them around and bath them or you have to sit by their side to ensure they don’t harm themselves? Ask yourself critical questions that will help you best manage the situation. Understanding how much care is needed will help you allocate time to every vital task and make you more effective. This way, you can schedule other important things in your day when your parents do not need a lot of your time and attention.
Make a caregiving budget
Caregiving involves lots of finances, and it is only proper that you create a budget specifically for this cause. By doing this, you prevent yourself from overspending and running into bankruptcy. Create a comprehensive list of the things you spend money on, and this includes hospital visits, drugs, meals, logistics, and other specific needs. This will help you understand how much you spend and plan on spending, so you can cut down the budget where necessary and work towards having enough.
Get extra caregiving help
Don’t try to do it all alone when you can seek help around to reduce the stress. While this might not be all that easy, especially to get someone who will care for your parents as much as you do, you still have to give it a try. Doing the caregiving all alone can wear you out, and that isn’t good for your health. By getting an extra caregiving help, you save time and can do other important things and even take regular breaks. If you don’t already have help, start looking out for one and take your time if you have to, until you get one that meets your spec, for the best results. Family members can come through or an in-home caregiving help or even enroll your parents in an adult day program while you go on with other things.
Have “the conversation.”
This might seem a little comfortable for both you and your parents, but you need to discuss vital things with them. You need to understand what they want, as this will help you if you are faced with any legal power at any point and you have to make decisions on their behalf.
Understand the costs of keeping your parent in their home
A lot of parents prefer to be in their homes at old age, and yours have probably made you promise them that you would take care of them at home. But first, understand the cost of making this decision to not take them to a memory care facility or an elderly home. You can see a consultant for the elderly or visit an elderly home to get advice on what to do and how much it will cost. This will help prepare you for what is to come and know how much you are capable of handling.
Share the caregiving responsibility
Caregiving is a lot of work and having the responsibility rest on just one person is a whole lot. If that is the case for you, then you need to start making plans toward sharing the responsibility. Involve other family members where necessary; if you have siblings, get them to do something. An easy way to effectively pull this off is by allocating different tasks to each person to do per time. Share the responsibility, even if it involves taking turns in caring for your parents. This will help you relax and take regular breaks.
Reduce financial pressure
The financial pressure that arises from caregiving can be so overwhelming and could be a burden. You can lessen this workload on yourself by reducing the caregiving cost. There are different ways to go about this; you could ask for financial assistance from other family members, let them come through in any way they can. You can also look for government programs that can help pay for some caregiving expenses and also find resources to help reduce the cost of drugs. This will save you some stress and reduce financial pressure.
Always remember that your safety comes first, regardless of whatever you have promised your parents while they were still healthy. It is good to give your parents the best that they deserve, but you won’t be able to do that if your health is being affected. It takes a healthy person to care for the sick properly. Know how much care you can give and work your way around it, so you don’t break down. Also, ensure you are physically active, and you eat healthy, to help improve your health and strengthen you to care for your parent