Caregiving is a challenging task and is more than just keeping an extra eye on your parent. It requires a lot of crucial decisions to make sure your loved one’s health and safety are taken care of. It can be overwhelming! We don’t want you tossing and turning in bed worrying about not being able to meet their needs, so here’s a comprehensive checklist to help guide you in caring for your aging parent.
Help your parent avoid isolation
The first step to caring for your parent is making sure you’re spending enough time with them. According to the CDC, almost ¼ of adults aged over 65 are considered to be socially isolated. Loneliness affects a senior’s health and is as common in premature mortality as high blood pressure. Regular Contact is essential, and for the times you or other family members can’t see them, consider these options:
- Adult Daycare for seniors has many benefits, such as delaying the need for assisted living and lessening the burden of family caregivers. It also incorporates socialization for seniors through group activities such as book clubs, sing-alongs, and arts-crafts.
- Sign them up for a senior companionship program in your area and your loved one will be paired with a carefully vetted volunteer to spend quality time, play games, socialize, etc.
- Set up a social routine they can look forward to such as a Friday night dinner or movie night with the family. So, in cases when you can’t meet with your parent regularly, you have a designated time to connect with them.
Decide whether you need to hire a caregiver
You may be unsure if your aging loved one should continue to live independently, here are some signs you should look for in your parent to decide whether they should have a caregiver:
- They are losing mobility such as falling more often
- They are losing or gaining weight
- They forget to take their medication
- They have lost interest in their hobbies
- They struggle with essential tasks such as preparing meals or cleaning the house
Choose the right caregiving service for your parent
If your loved one is experiencing any of the signs above, here are options for how they can receive care:
- Independent Living with an In-Home Caretaker: This option is a happy medium if your elderly parent requires assistance but doesn’t want to leave their home. There are many types of in-home caregivers to fit your loved one’s situation such as part-time caretakers or live-in caretakers. This role can be filled through either a family member or a hired outside source. 1+1 Cares can help match your loved one with a caregiver to meet their needs.
- Independent Living Communities: This is the ideal choice for your loved one if they are healthy and active enough to live independently, but struggle with loneliness or isolation. These housing communities don’t provide any medical care for seniors, however, they are surrounded by other aging residents and are offered services such as transportation and social activities.
- Assisted Living: This solution of care is for seniors who are active but require an extra hand with activities such as dressing, bathing, and preparing meals. Assisted Living offers the same amenities and social surroundings as an independent living community with the addition of receiving medical care and supervision regularly.
- Nursing Homes: This option is there for your loved one if they are suffering from a chronic condition and will require round-the-clock medical care and rehabilitation services.
Pay for Caregiving Services
It is common for seniors to avoid receiving necessary care because of its costs. It can be an unfair situation when expenses are the reason for your loved one’s declining health. Luckily, there are many resources you can reach out to for financial assistance. Most states can financially help seniors in need of in-home caregiver or nursing home services if they meet the requirements for Medicaid.
Contact your local aging services department to find your local Medicaid office and get more information on financial coverage for care.
What to do when your aging parent refuses help
It can be frustrating for not only you but also your loved one when they can no longer do things on their own. Even if your help is well-intended, you may be met with some resistance from your parent. AARP provides tips on how you can care for your resistant loved one while they are in this difficult transition:
- Be patient: Discussing the future of your aging parent’s living situation can be a difficult conversation. Don’t expect them to be on board with the idea right away. Introduce it slowly, and give them time to consider and adjust to the idea.
- Remind them you’re on their side: Being persistent and defensive when it comes to taking care of your parent may give them the wrong idea of your intentions. You want to make it clear that you are looking out for their safety and well-being because you want them to flourish for as long as possible.
- Don’t expect them to be exactly how they used to be: Old age can cause people to be more dependent and vulnerable. This can cause them to act out of character. Be patient and compassionate about what they’re going through to avoid conflicts caused by judgment and failed expectations.
If you were overwhelmed with where to start in the caregiving process, this checklist can help take you in the right direction in planning for the care of your loved one. For further information on how you can take care of your aging parents, read more caring for your aging parents’ checklists by 1+1 Cares.
1 +1 is a referral agency that works for clients and caregivers. We match caregivers with clients and inform them of your requirements. We work for you so you and your loved one can have a safe, enjoyable caregiving experience.