Aging can bring about losses in mental acuity and the physical ability or strength needed to perform basic tasks necessary for proper hygiene, nutrition, and the care of a home. In an increasing number of families today, adult children are stepping up to provide care for elderly parents who need some level of assistance or care. Some caretakers will be able to manage their parent's needs through more frequent visits, while others may need to arrange occasional part-time or more permanent full-time care. Caring for an elderly parent is challenging and time-consuming, on any level, so here are some proactive tips caretakers can use to help them make the best of a difficult situation.
Determine the level of care that will be appropriate for your parents
Elderly parents often want to remain in their own homes so badly that they may not be completely honest with their children or friends about any needs for assistance they may have. Children who find that their parent's are suddenly forgetting to cook meals, take medications, care for their home, or bathe and change clothing regularly should suspect this type of issue. Likewise, elderly parents who exhibit frequent signs of forgetfulness or confusion may also be concealing a deeper issue that will require some level of care from an adult child or other qualified person.
Children who find that their parents will not discuss these issues, even when confronted directly, may need to take steps to get permission to speak with their doctor or consider filing for guardianship in order to make sure their parents are safe and receiving proper care.
Use available resources to provide appropriate care for elder parents
Caring for an elderly parent can be a full-time job. Unfortunately, many adult children are forced to assume a caretaker role for their elderly parent while still raising their own families and keeping their career on track. With the number of elderly people continuing to increase as the boomer generation ages, many communities are now instituting services that can help provide caretakers with some relief, such as adult day care and meal delivery services.
In addition to taking advantage of any of these services your area offers, adult children who are caring for an elderly relative should also consider hiring a full- or part-time elder care service that offers in-home options. This type of service can be customized to help handle some or all of the daily tasks of caring for an elderly parent as well as providing some needed time off for the caretaker and their family.
To learn more about available elder are services in your area and how they can help you provide the best care for your elderly parent or parents, take time to visit with a reputable elder care services company soon.