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Caring for Aging Parents: Your Guide to Getting it Right

Caring for Aging Parents: Your Guide to Getting it Right

When your parent needs more extensive care than the occasional drop-in, it can get overwhelming quickly. Switching from child to caregiver is not easy. Family caregiving is a tough thing to pull off, and there’s no shame in seeking professional help. In fact, it can be the kindest thing to do. But, if you’re set on trying to do it yourself, we have some tips we’d be delighted to share:

  1. Talk to Your Parents – First and foremost, it’s about what will make them happy and keep your aging parents healthy. You may be worrying about how you’re going to be able to handle caring for them and feeling guilty about hiring someone to help. Meanwhile, your parents may already be wondering about what a professional could do to help. Either way, if there are other family members who would want to be involved, make sure they’re present for these conversations as well.
  2. Make a Plan – This shouldn’t just be about what kind of parental care you’re going to provide, but also what you know you can’t handle doing, should a new care need arise. Pushing past your limits doesn’t help you or your parents. Setting boundaries for yourself is an important step to take upfront. This is true for your parents as well. There could be types of care you’re comfortable providing that they would not be comfortable receiving from their child.
  3. Assess Their Care Needs – This is a process that involves both the conversations you have with them about what they need and what you observe from being around them. A lot of older adults may be embarrassed to admit that they need certain kinds of senior care, even though it’s simply a natural aspect of aging for many people. If one of the care needs that arises involves lifting your parent at any point, we highly recommend getting professional help. A lift is something that, when done wrong, could hurt both you and the person you’re lifting.
  4. Do Your Research – Understanding what happens when we age can be a huge help in your elderly support journey. This is especially true if either of your parents has memory issues. For example, when your parent has forgotten an important detail—like thinking a relative who’s dead is still alive—your first impulse might be to correct them and remind them that who they’re talking about has passed. This is not a good idea, because it will create a moment of very real grief for your parents. And while they may forget the facts of what’s just happened, the emotions the situations created will stay, and your parents may not remember why they’re feeling how they are.
  5. Figure Out Legal and Financial Concerns – Ideally, you need to do this before it’s even remotely necessary. This is the kind of thing that can make emotions run high. Trying to handle them while other stresses are at play can be remarkably difficult.
  6. Create a Support System – For everyone, this may look different, but in general, we recommend finding ways to share in caring for your aging parents. This could mean saying you’ll just take care of getting groceries via Instacart or some other similar service so you can focus your energy elsewhere. It could mean contacting a home care company to help when you need a break.

Parental Care: Don’t Do it Yourself, Let Us Help

Many families want to care for their loved ones themselves, however there are times when it is best for everyone to seek the help of a licensed care professional. You may feel like you’re not doing the best you can for your parents by seeking professional help, but we promise it’s the opposite. ComForCare has been operating for over 20 years and creating excellent experiences in home care is our passion.

Contact us to discuss what options work best for your parents, and our team members will work with you to find just the right solution.

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