There will come a time when one or both of your aging parents will no longer be able to care for themselves or live on their own. When this time comes, your family will need to make important life-changing decisions about how to provide the best care possible for your aging parents.
In This Family Caregiving Article:
Your caregiving options may include hiring a caregiver or one sibling quitting their job to be the primary family caregiver. This will allow your aging parent to continue to live in the comfort of their own home. Another option is relocating your aging parent, either moving mom and/or dad to a senior care facility, moving your parent into your home or another family member’s home.
In some cases, the decision is an obvious one. For example, if your parent has a serious medical condition and requires a high level of care, a nursing home may be the best choice as this type of facility provides 24 hour nursing assistance. However, if your parent is still alert and independent and does not need medical attention 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, then an assisted living may be a viable option.
If one of your siblings is currently out of work and available to move in with your parent, then in-home care may be another option. If your combined finances allow for it, you may be able to hire a caregiver and allow your parent to age in place. Aging in place is an option that allows seniors to stay in the comfort of their home and maintain as much independence as long as possible.
Unfortunately, deciding on the best care option for your aging parent is not always that simple. Preparing the care plan ahead of time as a family will definitely make the caregiving decision a lot easier and less stressful.
You would never want to consider caring for your aging parent to be a burden. right? It is important to recognize the time constraints, increased costs and lifestyle changes that are required for you or one of your siblings to take on the responsibility of being the primary caregiver for your aging parent.
Generally, it is not a good option to move mom or dad back and forth in an effort to try to share the caregiving responsibility. Your aging parent needs the comfort and consistency of a steady living arrangement, especially if he or she has a medical condition. However, there are several ways that will allow every member of the family to be involved in the caregiving duties. With proper planning, everyone can have an equal opportunity to spend time with your parent, make lasting memories and ensure that your parent’s later years are as enjoyable and comfortable as possible.
If one sibling takes on the role as primary caregiver in your parent’s home or their own, other siblings can be involved by assisting in paying for food, personal care and medical costs. Other family members should also take turns in accompanying your parent to doctor’s appointments, social engagements, shopping trips and meal preparation. Thus, allowing the primary caregiver to have some free time to take care of personal commitments, work or for rest and relaxation.
Siblings who live out of state or miles away can provide financial assistance to help pay for the cost of caregiving. They can also make arrangements to visit regularly so they can have the opportunity to spend time with your aging parent and take over the caregiver role while they are in town. For those who live in the area but are not able to take on a large role in the caregiving duties, they can perhaps make some time to participate in your parent’s favorite hobbies, do the grocery shopping, pay bills, make phone calls to schedule appointments or take on other small caregiving tasks. Grandchildren and other family members can also be involved in smaller, age-appropriate ways by helping with household chores or just by simply spending quality time with your elderly parent.
The two major factors to consider while caring for an aging parent are time and money. You should accept the fact that not all siblings are able to contribute equally in terms of money because of your different financial statuses while some are not able to allocate the same amount of time to take care of your parent. Finding the proper balance that works for all of you and making certain that your parent is well cared for is important to ensure that you can maintain harmony in the family, thus avoiding any resentments among each other.
Effective communication is key in achieving and maintaining this balance. Be sure that you regularly communicate with your siblings in order to come up with a care plan that will allow each member of the family to be involved in caring for your aging parent as much as possible. Caring for a senior parent does require lifestyle changes, but it is an honor and an opportunity that all family members should share.
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About the Author: Catharine D. Allado is a Senior Care Expert and the COO of SeniorCareHomes.com – An extensive online directory of Assisted Living, Memory Care and other types of Senior Housing across the U.S. “SeniorCareHomes.com Empowers Families to Choose the Right Assisted Living Options for Their Loved Ones. – Tour Online and Save Time.”TM
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