Have you found yourself caring for an aging parent? Are you concerned that you are making some mistakes? Are you hoping to make a few changes in the near future to ensure that your loved one is getting the care he or she deserves?
It goes without saying that caring for an aging parent is easier said than done. Even if you have some knowledge of what you should and shouldn’t be doing, there will always be times when you wonder if you’re on the right track.
Here is an interesting statistic shared by the Family Caregiver Alliance:
“Annually 8,357,100 people receive support from the 5 main long-term care service; home health agencies (4,742,500), nursing homes (1,383,700), hospices (1,244,500), residential care communities (713,300) and adult day service centers (273,200).”
This doesn’t even take into consideration the number of people who provide personal care to an aging parent.
If you find yourself in this position, there are a few things you can do to make your life easier. Here are five tips to keep in mind:
1. Get Help
Although you are the one providing help, there is nothing wrong with reaching out to others for assistance. For example, you may find that one of your siblings is more than willing to jump in and provide a bit of help. This can go a long way in making life easier on you, as you won’t be responsible for everything.
2. Know What You’re Dealing With
It’s imperative that you have a clear idea of what type of issues your loved one is facing. For example, some people are dealing with nothing more than old age. They look good and feel good, but they just can’t get around like they used to.
Others, however, are in a much more serious situation. An example of this would be someone who is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. In this case, it goes without saying that you need to take a different approach.
3. Stay in Touch with Your Parent’s Medical Team
Unless you are a doctor, you shouldn’t attempt to make important decisions on your own. Instead, you need to stay in constant contact with your parent’s medical team. Let them know what is going on, ask questions, and take their advice.
4. Consider a Nursing Home
It may not be something you want to do, but there could come a point when you need to find a nursing home for your aging parent.
There are many tools for finding and comparing nursing homes, so there is no point in rushing through the process.
By comparing a number of establishments, you can find the one that is perfect for your parent. This will go a long way in allowing him or her to feel comfortable with the move.
5. Do Your Best
No one truly understands how difficult it is to care for an aging parent until they actually have to do so.
The only thing you can do is put your best foot forward, day in and day out. If you do this, you don’t have anything to worry about.
Also, you should never feel bad about asking for help or deciding to learn more about nursing home care. You can only do so much, and in the end there is only one thing that matters: the well being of your parent.
While these are five of the better tips to follow when caring for an aging parent, there are many others that could come into play at some point along the way.
You shouldn’t expect every day to be the same. Along with this, don’t assume that what you do today will work for your loved one tomorrow. You need to adjust your approach as the days go by, as this is the best way to provide a high level of care.
Do you have any experience caring for a loved one, such as an aging parent? Is there anything you would add to the list of tips above? Is there anything in particular that you suggest others avoid? Share your personal tips and advice in the comment section below, as your feedback can help others in a number of ways.