Your parents took good care of you when you were a child, so it makes sense that when they age, you are there to help take care of them. While it shouldn't be your sole responsibility to provide around-the-clock care, it is a nice gesture that you are offering them your support, whether it is physical, emotional, or financial support. It can also be a stressful time, so make sure to think of yourself as well. Here are some tips for taking care of your elderly parents.
1. Create a Caregiving Budget
It may seem like it is easy to take care of your parents as they age, but it actually can cost quite a bit of money. Everything from finding them a day care for seniors while you are at work, to hiring extra help for their daily chores and errands, will cost you a little money. Start by making a caregiving budget. Base it first on your parent's income, such as their social security and retirement accounts. Once you know how much income they have, you can try helping with some of your own money. Having this budget helps you determine exactly what type of resources you can get for them.
2. Do Activities Your Parents Enjoy
Being at an age where they need help is also going to be hard on your parents. Instead of making it appear like you are only spending more time with them to take care of them, you can take some of the burden off them by simply doing activities they enjoy. Maybe you can help your mom reorganize her scrapbooks or let her teach you to knit while you do a load of her laundry. You can help your dad complete a puzzle or watch his favorite television program while also helping to clean the house and cook him a decent meal.
3. Know When it is Time to Seek Help
Even if you want to do everything yourself, this is simply not an option. You have a job and a life to get back to when you can. Try to get some help for your parents to give yourself a break. This may be hiring a housekeeper to come by once a week to clean and do laundry, have meals delivered to their home a few nights a week, or hiring a caregiver that helps with toileting, bathing, medication supervision, and basic daily tasks they can no longer do on their own.
4. Broach the Subject of Assisted Living
This may be the most difficult thing you do, but at some point, there may come a time when they need assisted living. While it can seem pricey, consider the cost of hiring your parents full-time help at their own home for everything they need. In some cases, it makes more sense to bring them to an assisted living facility, such as the Courtyard at Jamestown, where everything is taken care of, and you know they are safe when you can't be there.