Tips, Resources, and Support for Taking Care of Elderly Parents At Home

Your 1+1 Team
December 1, 2023

Taking care of elderly parents at home is a decision that involves careful consideration and sometimes challenging choices. Whether driven by your parents’ desire to age in place or a shared understanding that moving them into your home is the safest option, it’s crucial to grasp the physical, emotional, and financial aspects associated with this responsibility.

Tips for Taking Care of Elderly Parents at Home

Understanding the Care Needs

Before embarking on this journey, assess the extent of your loved one’s care requirements. This involves understanding whether they need assistance with routine tasks like meal preparation and errands or more complex aspects such as medication management, mobility assistance, and specialized diets. Recognizing the full spectrum of care needs is fundamental to making informed decisions.

Realistic Expectations

Once the care needs are identified, it’s essential to set realistic expectations for yourself while taking care of elderly parents at home. Acknowledge that, despite the noble intention of taking on the responsibility independently, there may be limits to what you can manage. Consider factors such as your parent’s physical care requirements, the impact on your lifestyle, and the time commitments involved, especially if you have children. 

Proactively establish boundaries early on to prevent caregiver burnout, a situation where excessive caregiving responsibilities lead to physical and emotional exhaustion. Balancing your capabilities with your parent’s needs is crucial for a sustainable caregiving arrangement.

Crafting a Care Plan

To smooth the caregiving process, create a comprehensive care plan. A home-based care plan should cover nonmedical needs, emergency procedures, coordination of outside support, scheduling considerations, and medication management. This plan enhances organization, and communication with healthcare teams, and reduces stress levels for everyone involved. Consulting with your parents’ healthcare team can provide valuable insights into tailoring the care plan to specific needs, ensuring a supportive and safe environment.

Home Modifications for Safety

Adapting your home to meet your elderly parent’s needs while taking care of them is a significant step. Utilize resources like checklists from organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control to identify necessary modifications. This may involve installing grab bars, ensuring well-lit living spaces, making floors slip-resistant, removing potential trip hazards, and strategically placing phones for easy access during emergencies.

Resources and Support for Taking Care of Elderly Parents at Home

Accessing relevant resources can significantly aid in the caregiving journey. Consider the following:

  • Eldercare Locator: This national service provides resources to support seniors living independently and offers valuable information on various aspects, including support services, elder rights, insurance, health resources, and transportation options.
  • Meals on Wheels: A network of community-based programs that deliver nutritious meals, safety checks, and human connection to seniors at home. Check their website for local programs and additional information.
  • Area Agencies on Aging: Local agencies offer a range of services, including nutrition counseling, caregiver support, care management, long-term care ombudsman services, insurance counseling, and transportation assistance.

Taking care of elderly parents at home involves a multifaceted approach, addressing physical, emotional, and logistical aspects. By assessing needs realistically, creating a comprehensive care plan, making necessary home modifications, and accessing relevant resources, you can navigate this challenging but rewarding journey with greater ease.

1+1 Cares 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.

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