Caring for an aging parent is no easy task. Life has come full circle and roles have reversed; where once they took care of you—scant more than a squeaking nugget wrapped in a blanket—now you must fill the shoes as age begins to wear them thin. Things once taken for granted, like sleeping, now need to be monitored. Everyday affairs need assistance. And most of all, that superhero who would once move mountains to protect, nurture, and love you, cannot do what they once did.
If this is your reality, then rest assured it does get easier. Read on to learn everything you need to know to take care of your aging parent.
Evaluate the Extent of Care Necessary
Everyone ages at a different pace. Aging can be as simple as physical weakness and as drastic as mental deterioration. You know your parent best. Start by evaluating exactly what kind of care they’re going to need. Is it extensive enough to the point that you may need to quit your job? Or can it be managed with the same hours needed for part-time employment? Will they need assisted living, or can they move into your home?
By evaluating these circumstances, you’ll have an easier time addressing what they need and your capacity to provide.
Hire In-Home Assistance
Taking care of your aging parent isn’t just about monitoring their diet, executing tasks they can’t handle, or even providing them with a comfortable space—it’s about creating the infrastructure for a lifestyle that will guide them to the end of their days. While this thought can read morbid, it doesn’t need to and it’s certainly not what we’re implying. By providing them with resources, routine, and comfort, you ensure that the rest of their lives while be lived happily—content in their lifestyle and surrounded by loved ones. Use professional platforms to find vetted, reviewed, and highly-recommended in-house caregivers to assist your parent at home.
Be Ready to Speak for Them
We all come to an age where everyday tasks become difficult. Yet, life goes on and society, in many regards, still expects seniors to pull their weight. Being that this is the reality, you’ll want to stay in front of it. One such way is to send in the IRS form 2848, which will allow you to speak to them on your parent’s behalf. This is one of many ways you can step in to represent your aging parent in their affairs, and one thing they will no longer have to worry about.
You’ll Need to Simplify Their Lives
If you can, purchase items that will help simplify their lives. Unfortunately, it is all-too-common for a senior to experience memory loss, mental fatigue, and general forgetfulness. By centralizing certain items and providing others that can help them monitor their health, you make day-to-day living easier.
Quitting Your Job Could Become a Reality
As we stated, caring for an aging parent is not unlike having a child. Unfortunately, if you do not have siblings, this role can fall more in line with being a single parent. In which case, many people caring for their aging parent find it a necessity that they quit their job. It’s estimated that quitting a job due to this reason creates a total loss of trillions in wages—in the United States alone.
It is paramount that you know, when in this position, that this could become a reality. In which case, it might be best to plan for the worst. You may want to start thinking about creating an emergency fund, or having a backup plan in case you need to lose your employment.
We understand that filling this role is no easy task; neither logistically nor mentally. No one wants to witness their parents age and often that process creates an arduous job for other family members. But by preparing for the future, adding excitement into the caregiving process, and hiring in-house help, there’s no reason why you won’t be able to provide a healthy, comfortable, and even enjoyable lifestyle shift. The root of what you’re doing stems from love and your parent will recognize it. This, again, is the circle of life’s brilliance.