Your parents likely took care of you growing up, so it's natural to want to be the one to take care of them when they need the additional help. Taking care of an aging parent can be emotionally and physically demanding and can also be quite time-consuming. Being the one to take care of them can also be a very rewarding experience. If you're on the fence about giving up some of your time to aid your aging parents, first you're going to need to understand what a caregiver actually does.
Many senior citizens lived on fixed incomes, often making it difficult and nearly impossible to pay bills and have money for the cost of living. If your aging parents are struggling financially and own their own home, they may be eligible to take out a reverse mortgage. A reverse mortgage can help your parents become more comfortable financially in their retirement without increasing their monthly payments. This option is also great because it allows your parents to stay in their home. Take the time to research reverse mortgage information to determine if this option is ideal for your parents.
Weigh the Pros and Cons of Hiring Professional Help
Taking care of elderly parents can be extremely difficult if they require a level of care that you are not qualified to give. When you visit your parents, pay close attention to their appearance and their home. If your parents require additional help they may show signs of not taking care of themselves properly, have stacks of unopened mail, or have cuts and bruises on their body. It's extremely common for parents to deny the need for additional help and try to convince you that their current situation is just fine.
Home health care will give your parents the option to live in their home but receive additional help from a qualified individual to make sure they are safe and well-taken care of. Sit down with your parents and discuss your concerns and recommend outside help.
When to Consider an Assisted Living Home
Considering an assisted living home for your parents is a huge step and not one that should be taken without proper research. Some signs it might be time to consider placing them in an assisted living home include:
· Worsening chronic health condition
· Difficulty in managing daily responsibilities
· Change in personal hygiene habits
· Weight loss
· Signs of depression
· Going days without leaving the house
If you believe your loved one needs an assisted living home, get them involved in the decision-making process. Take a tour of senior communities and determine what you can afford.
Learn to Manage Your Own Stress
It's common to feel an increased level of stress when taking care of aging parents. It's important to make time to take care of yourself to manage your stress. Don't abandon your children and spouse to take care of your parents and learn when to say no. Being active as a family is a good way to increase your overall mood and decrease your stress.
If you have siblings, be sure to ask them for help. Help your parents set a monthly budget, especially if they live on a fixed income. Taking care of your parents can be extremely time-consuming, but avoid quitting your job to help them out unless absolutely necessary. Take the time to assess your parent's current situation and determine if they'd benefit from hired assistance for help with daily activities such as shopping and paying bills. Allow your parents to be part of the decision-making process to show them that their opinion does matter.