This is a contributed post and therefore may not represent the views and opinions of this blog or its author.
Our parents aging is an inevitable fact of life. It can be an uncertain time and a worrying one. Ensuring that your parents are equipped for everything they need to stay safe and healthy can become a weighing priority and increasing stressful if you’re not quite sure where to start. Here we’ve outlined the ways that you can figure out their needs, understanding what options you have and what help you and your parents might be entitled to.
Calculate Your Parents Needs
Looking after an aging parent can sometimes feel overwhelming because you’re not sure what needs to be done. Assess how much help your parents actually need on a day to day basis. Look into things like family support, medical needs, and home safety. It could be that small amendments need to be made, for example providing, bed pads for adults or shower hold-rails in the bathroom, to make your parent’s life easier and more manageable. Write the necessary details into a notebook and use it as a way to keep track of your parent’s needs and how this may change over time.
For example, if your mother lives in a metropolitan area, likes to eat out regularly and has hospital appointments that she needs to get to weekly, it may be advisable to set up a regular transport pick-up for her and give her access to an online ordering system like UberEATS.
Think About Your Own Needs
Being the sole carer for a loved one might be too much for you to handle. Ideally, we all want our parents to be happy, healthy and safe. It’s not unkind or selfish to acknowledge that you are not knowledgeable or skilled enough to provide such dedicated care to someone who needs it. Be honest with yourself and make an assessment early on in the process, to make sure that your situation is sustainable in the long run. Don’t risk mental anguish and burning out.
Include Your Parent/s
It can be concerning to see your parent worried about losing their independence. So it’s important to keep an open dialogue between all of you, to keep them in the loop and reassure them in regards to what the plans are in relation to their lives going forward. Your mum or dad may be resistant to change at first, so be patient and take as much time as they need to come to a gradual understanding of your ideas for their ongoing care.
Lockdown Your Finances
Taking care of your elderly loved one can undoubtedly take a toll on your finances. To avoid any unexpected shortfalls, it’s a good idea to have a look at your budget and estimate what your outgoings will be.
Think about things like medical care, care home fees, home expansion costs and even every day costs like bills and food.