Aging, as a fact in life, affects many families. As an adult child, you start imagining your parents as seniors and fail to fully understand the extent to which their aging will impact them and you. Besides, if they are already old, in good health, and live independently, you may not feel any changes. However, there will come a time when the effects of aging will become more visible, and long-term care might be necessary.
There will be a general decline in their physical and mental viability, resulting in even more dramatic changes to your parent’s appearance, so how can you handle that? The following are some of the things you must remember when taking care of them:
The amount of care needed
As a caregiver, you are probably in a state where you cannot know the amount of care needed. And when you get overwhelmed with a lengthy list of things to do, you get confused and fail to see the bigger picture. So, the first thing to do is find out how much care your parents really require.
Follow that by creating a list of all the tasks to comprehend better the number of jobs needed to be done during the day, weekends, or at night. This way, you will realize the amount of supervision required and the time of the day.
As your parents age, it is vital to make sure that their home is clear of anything that can put them in danger. Make simple fixes to prevent falls. It is also essential to ensure that the HVAC system is working properly to offer the ideal indoor temperature; if not, consider AC repair whenever you notice that they might be getting ill due to the indoor temperatures.
Also, consider adding brighter lights in every room, put grab bars in bathrooms and along the stairs for extra support, clear cords, rugs, and other clutter out of common ways. More importantly, make sure that you have an emergency contact service in case of anything.
You should also remember to look at your parent’s finances. Getting them in order is very crucial. So, make sure that you examine their insurance and retirement plans, check whether they have life insurance, disability coverage, pension benefits, long-term care insurance, or workplace health insurance.
Also, don’t forget to check into their financial support system. Evaluate whether they have public benefits like Medicare, Social Security Disability Insurance, or the Supplemental Security Income.
While your aging parents are healthy and living independently, it is crucial to take care of their legal problems. Ensure that you are an authorised user on their accounts to pay the bills that they can no longer pay, and help them with all the legal documents. Some documents that must be well kept are:
- Birth certificate
- Pension benefits
- Marriage certificate
- Citizenship papers
- Property deeds
- Insurance policies
Taking care of an elderly parent is not always an easy task. However, one significant thing to remember is to take care of yourself first. You cannot support your parents as they age when you are not well. So, take the necessary steps to self-care; eat well, exercise, and, more importantly, distress. That way, you will give your parents the care and support they need without any worries.