In some instances, it can be a very fast aging process from active senior to elderly parents who needs care. Their physical appearance or mental acuity may rapidly decline, and you may be certain that you need help to keep them living safely at home. However, for some, the deterioration may be gradual and more subtle.
Tapinto.net’s recent article entitled “Caring for Elderly Parents: Can They Live Safely at Home?” says that, no matter their physical and mental status, most seniors want to remain in their homes rather than move in with family or to a care facility. However, aging parents may require care to keep them safe and to manage their daily living activities. This responsibility frequently is given to the adult children, regardless of whether they are ready for this task.
If you’ve determined that your parent needs assistance to stay safe and independent at home, but you’re not sure if you and other family members can handle the caregiving responsibilities, here are some thoughts to help you. First, speak with your parents and help them realistically assess their living situation. Discuss all issues candidly and address any problems. Look at these specifics:
Safe living environment. Seniors are frequently injured in and around their homes by common hazards and poor lighting that cause falls.
Finances. Review the financial situation of your parents to be certain you understand all sources of income, assets and debts. Review the level of medical and insurance coverage. You should also see if each of your parents have a will, living will and power of attorney. Make sure that you know the location of these key documents. If they do not have these documents, help them find an experienced estate planning or elder law attorney to draft them.
Mental and physical health. See if your parents have any changes in their physical and mental health. Review the medications that your parents are taking and consult their health care providers regarding any specific requirements. Make certain they have had basic vaccinations.
The ability of the family to provide assistance. Have a frank discussion with siblings and nieces and nephews about their ability to provide the level or kind of care that your aging parents need. Caring for elderly parents can be overwhelming. Know that you may need support to avoid caregiver burnout. There are also professionals who can help your parents with activities of daily living (ADLs), personal care and companionship services. Home health aides or certified nursing assistants provide help with ADLs that may include assistance with:
- Bathing, grooming, using the toilet and dressing
- Meal planning and preparation
- Light housekeeping, laundry and running errands
- Medication reminders and picking up prescriptions
- Hobbies and exercise; and
- Companionship, transportation and help getting to appointments.
Reference: Tapinto.net (Nov. 11, 2020) “Caring for Elderly Parents: Can They Live Safely at Home?”