6 tips for caring for an elderly parent

As your parents advance in age, it’s time to rethink how you care for them. Watching your parents age isn’t easy, but you can make the most out of your time with them as you journey forward by following these tips.

  1. Consider your job

When it’s time to take your parents into your care, you need to rearrange your schedule. What was once a weekly visit to your parents’ home becomes visiting every other day, then cooking their meals, and finally, doing their chores. Before long, you may find yourself at their home at all hours of the day with little time to do anything else.

  • Pros

If you’re like many other children of elderly parents, you may consider leaving your job to accommodate them. Leaving your job can save you money on in-home or adult day care, and you might eliminate the need for nursing home care. You also know your parents better than anyone else, and you can spend valuable time with them.

  • Cons

There are also drawbacks to consider before leaving your job. Should you quit your job, you’ll miss out on benefits like Social Security, retirement investments, and healthcare. If you need a job and still want to take care of your parents, find a career that allows you to work from home or work part time.

  1. Create a new budget

You may need more than your parents’ savings to provide for their care. Organize your budget if you plan to provide end of life care, hire a caregiver, pay for medical care, or pay for burial insurance. Seniors often require costly amenities to keep them safe and healthy.

  • Hire a financial advisor

If you need help creating a budget to accommodate you and your parents, hire a financial advisor. A financial advisor can analyze your records and create a plan that suits your goals. They may also give you advice on which insurance plans to use and which types of medical care to invest in.

  1. Have the important conversations

It’s not easy, but it’s essential to have the tough conversations. You’ll need to have an honest talk about uncomfortable subjects to avoid problems in the future. Doing so ensures that you fulfill your parents’ wishes and avoid problems when the time comes. Be sure to talk about these subjects:

  • Drafting a will
  • Establishing who has legal power over the estate
  • Creating funeral arrangements
  1. Make the most of your time with them

Try to enjoy every moment you have with your aging parents. Make this an opportunity to have family dinners, engage them in conversation, play games, and reminisce on old memories. If they’re able-bodied, take them with you on a day trip out of town or out to lunch on weekends. When it comes to spending time with your parents, it’s the little things that count. Make the most of your remaining time with them.

  1. Consider an emergency alert system

As your parents age, they may come down with a number of health issues that put them at risk. If you can’t be home with them all hours of the day, invest in an emergency alert system to help. These medical alert devices for seniors use GPS tracking that allows you to find your parent should they go missing. If your loved one suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or another neurological condition, a medical alert system will let you know where they are at all times.

With the help of an alert system, your parent can call for an emergency at any time with the touch of a button. Should your parent experience a fall or another unexpected issue, they can push the button to call for help. Invest in an alert system to give you peace of mind while you’re away.

  1. Involve them in senior community events

If your parents are still active, involve them in events at a community center or church. Find groups online for elderly people who enjoy the same activities or go to the same events together. Doing so keeps them connected to others and diminishes the likelihood they’ll develop depression.

Taking care of aging parents isn’t easy, but with these tips in mind, you both can enjoy the remaining time you have together.

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