8 Tips for Caring for Seniors and Elderly Parents
By Amelia Johnson
Caring for seniors and elderly parents is something critical, as a lot of people want to give their parents the best life at old age. Most parents spend the bulk of their active years working hard, and at old age, they fall back on their children to help them stay strong while they push through. However, while a lot of people are willing to do everything to ensure a better life for their elderly parents and seniors, the current day living makes it a little difficult.
We live in a very busy world today, and no one would excitedly want to quit their jobs or sources of income to sit with the elderly all day. This often brings about the option of seeking help from a caregiver or taking them to memory care facilities . On the flip side, a lot of people would rather take care of their elderly ones at home and make senior living fun for them. Either way, the most important thing is doing the right thing as you take care of them.
Caring for seniors and elderly parents is quite challenging, but the following tips can help put you on the right track:
Have a support system
You don’t have to do it all alone when you have people around you. Try to engage your friends and relatives to support you on this daunting task, even if it means being a shoulder sometimes to lean on. You can also hire a professional service to do the job, so you don’t have to stress yourself out. As much as friends and relatives might be willing to help, it is important that you don’t get so comfortable with making them do a lot of work. They might not be fine with it and you won’t want to put them under such emotional stress. There are many elderly care agencies and home care services that can come to the rescue. They can help with basic things like shopping, laundry, cooking and even tag along to outings.
Understand how much care is really needed
Every elderly person needs different measures of care and you need to find out how much care is really needed. The task might be a little overwhelming that you fail to take it one step at a time and actually know where to begin. It will help if you can take a minute to think through it and list out everything required to give this person the care he or she deserves. You can also consider what time of the day your help will be most needed and what exactly you have to do. This will not only help you manage your time well but will also help you focus on other productive things.
Use public welfare benefits
The public welfare benefits are there for your advantage. Learn to make the best use of them and this includes healthcare services at low cost or even free, rather than spending expensively in private settings. This will also help you track their medical or health records. Taking care of the elderly is expensive enough and you need to cut down as much as you can, even if it means taking advantage of public welfare benefits.
Be realistic about the care you’re able to provide without harming your own health
While you give yourself to caring for others, ensure your health is always in check. It takes a healthy person to care for someone who is weak effectively. Don’t try to stretch beyond your limits and give as much care as you can. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do the most for them, but this is also where your support systems come in. Your health is very important and should be prioritized too.
Get extra caregiving help
Get some extra help to help you push efficacy. While this might seem like the best idea ever, it isn’t all that easy, else a lot of people would have done that. You just need to have a clear and direct plan on how best you can go about the whole thing without burning out. Have a list of options and go for what suits you best. Whatever you do, ensure it gives you some time to take breaks.
Safety against scams
Beware of scams, as it is quite common in elderly settings, considering how vulnerable they are. Most of these seniors and elderly parents are not quite familiar with technology in this modern age, so scamming them might come so easy. This is where you need to be alert and protect them from any coming danger. This is especially important if they stay far away from you and are more likely to pay for things by themselves. Check their credit cards often and monitor their bills to be sure they have been spending wisely.
Reduce financial pressure
You might be under a lot of financial pressure, especially if your parents solely rely on you to take care of them. You can cut this down by having open discussions with them about it and see how you best you can manage the funds. They can advise you on what to do or suggest other options that might be helpful. You should also try to cut down on caregiving costs and go for a cheaper, yet effective, option.
Keep your resources alive
Leaving your job to focus on caring for your parents might seem like the best option, but you need to think it through. If you would go for that option, make sure you still have a source of income or enough resources to carry you through. You can also discuss with your employee and request for flexible working hours or take a short leave to get yourself together first.
Taking care of seniors and elderly parents can be daunting and expensive, but maximizing these tips will definitely make things easier for you.