As we ourselves age, caring for aging parents becomes one of the things in life we’re faced with. Many adults in the U.S. care for an older family members, some studies suggest up to 85% of us are in that boat.
Whether they’re geographically close or across the country, we must consider needs, ability and availability, dignity and how best to care for our older loved one in a way that not only satisfies their needs, but ours.
Items to Consider When Caring For Aging Parents
Is there a pre-existing condition or are there medical conditions that precipitate a certain level of care? Has your loved one been diagnosed with anything that will affect their ability to care for themselves?
Once those things have been considered, the next step is to review your ability to care for these conditions. Will you be able to alone or with family support? Will you need to have a caregiver, if you choose for your loved one to come and live with you?
Overall, you want to determine how best any medical conditions are managed and how your loved one’s overall health is best cared for.
Americans are famous for our ability to migrate to where the jobs are. But this can pose some challenges when it comes to caring for aging parents. Does your loved one live near you or are you facing a geographical distance? This comes into play when you’re considering moving your loved one to be closer to you, or even into your home. and making the biggest decision when caring for aging parents.
Do they want to remain in their home or in neighborhood? Perhaps they want to age-in-place? If so, how do you go about getting them the care they need?
Activities of Daily Life (ADLs)
Based on overall health, how is your loved one able to manage their activities of daily living? This includes things like the ability to shop and cook for themselves, feed themselves, shower and dress, clean the home, etc.
Are they able to do some or all of these things? If they’re only able to do some of these items, which ones are they and would these items be better managed by bringing a caregiver into their home?
Based on your loved one’s level of ability to manage ADLs, this will help you to determine the level of care that they need. Have a peek here for more information and an ADL checklist.
Caring for aging parents encompasses many things. One of the biggest questions seems to be, “Where will they live?”. Taking into consideration many of the other items on this list, the location of where your loved one lives may need to be decided.
Senior Navigator has an informative article on 10 Factors to Consider Before Moving Your Elderly Parents In, that is well worth the read.
Quality of Life
Of course, quality of life must be considered. But within this, often times, family caregivers jump to the conclusion that all that matters is the quality of life of their loved one. But when caring for aging parents, we not only must consider their life needs, but our own.
Being a family caregiver takes an emotional, mental and physical toll on us that we may struggle with. If we choose to become a family caregiver, we must also learn about how best to take care of our own health in this time. The Family Caregiver Alliance has a wonderful resource here for Self-Care for Family Caregivers.
If there is an emergency that involves your parent or loved one, who is nearby to assist? Is there a higher risk of a medical emergency or potential safety issues for them?
Caring for aging parents does not only have to do with overall health issues. It also includes the finances of your household and of theirs, and your loved one’s ability to manage their own finances. Falling under this category would also be any legal necessities and the 3 Key Steps for Advance Planning for Aging.
Considering who will manage this aspect is one of the more important decisions you may mutually face with your loved one.
Caring for Aging Parents Wrap Up
As you can see, many of these topics to consider overlap and affect each other. Perhaps your loved one is far away and desires to age-in-place, but has daily living needs that demand attention. By considering all of the above factors, you can cooperatively make the best and most well-informed decision possible.
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Do you have questions about how you can better support your loved one while they age in place in South Florida or regarding homecare in general? Please contact CareGivers of America here: Contact or call us toll free: 800-342-4197
*No information in this article is to be taken as advice, medical or otherwise. This post is not sponsored, but may contain external links to websites, articles or product examples. External links are used for example or refence purposes only and these links do not indicate specific product or website endorsement by CareGivers of America.