Aging is inevitable. As our loved ones grow older, here are five tips for caring for aging parents.
- Develop A Care Plan: Everyone’s situation is different. Discuss with your parents their wishes for care. Do they want to stay at home or are they open to an assisted living facility? Review their expenses and create a budget. If you parents are not comfortable talking about their expenses reach out to an Elder Law Attorney, they are a great resource. Designate roles to everyone in the family. For example, assign someone to manage medical bills and another family member with housekeeping.
- Make a House Call: Walk through your parents home. Is it safe for them to live in? Is it easy for them to walk around, do laundry, access the bedroom prepare and cook meals? Identify potential problem areas and brainstorm solutions.
- Look For Signals; When visiting with your parents, look for signs that they may need assistance. Have they been more forgetful? Have you noticed a change in their personality? How is their hygiene?
- Get Organized: Keep a record of important information handy. Know your parents health insurance company, primary care doctors, list of their medications do they have long term care insurance, do they have a will, have they assigned a medial power of attorney, property deeds and vehicle titles. Keep copies of their birth certificate, license and social security cards on file. Any online passwords will be helpful as well.
- Plan ahead: Most people call Caring Mission when they need immediate help and that’s okay. However, the caller is usually stressed and unsure of what to do. Plan ahead by keeping a list of resources. Know their preferred hospital and local ambulance company. Ask your parents if they have a care givers handy for when you may need them. Reach out to local non-medial companies and ask for a list of services.