Since your mother gave up her car keys and is having difficulties moving around on her own, you and your siblings have made the decision to share the task of providing for her care needs. Someone has to bring her to the beauty shop, supermarket and doctors’ appointments. One of you has to clean her house and take care of her laundry. And of course her lawn needs mowing and flower beds need weeding. No one said it would be easy to take care of your parents in their senior years. But you’ll find additional considerations when taking on the care of an elderly loved one that need to be dealt with but often go unnoticed until there’s an issue.
Check out this list of to-dos when organizing a plan of care for your parents:
- Arrange and store all essential personal information together, including medical information, power of attorney paperwork, wills, trusts, financial information on all assets and liabilities, insurance, advance healthcare directives, and more.
- Check to determine if your employer offers a flexible work schedule for time required to take care of parents, or paid or unpaid leave. Contemplate the financial significance of employment-related changes.
- Realize the financial implications of providing care for a family member. Studies show that family caregivers spend over $5,000 each year for care needs, over and above any lost wages.
- Write down an agreement of care that you, your loved one and all others who will be involved in providing care can agree upon. Although it might seem unnecessary, obtaining care details outlined in writing helps eliminate future disputes.
- Create a plan for continuing help and support for yourself, to allow for necessary time for self-care and to supply a safe, trusted outlet for your personal feelings. Think through available options, to incorporate not only immediate family and close friends, but also a counselor or therapist, your place of worship, online or in-person caregiver support groups, and disease-specific organizations, such as the Alzheimer’s Association.
Skilled in-home care providers are another excellent resource for assistance for older persons in need of assistance with proper care, as well as for the family members providing their care. Respite care services help family members to take much-needed breaks from care to address their own personal needs and to unwind with some recovery time. The most effective way a person can care for another is to first take care of himself/herself.
Home Sweet Home In-Home Care in St. Joseph, MI, has additional suggestions to help you better take care of your parents. We can put a plan in place for senior care and fill in any gaps with our full selection of professional in-home care services. Call us at (269) 849-9252.