Caring for aging parents can be difficult. It can be a drain on your emotional and financial resources and can also impinge upon your time. It can call upon you to make sacrifices and compromises. So how can you care for a much-loved parent and also make sure that care giving doesn’t exhaust you or cause resentment?
Give them access to self-help
Caring for aging parents doesn’t mean that they need to be entirely dependent upon you. Encourage them to remain self-reliant. Perhaps they can take a class that helps them improve strength, mobility and balance.
Also encourage elderly people to remain socially active – social interaction will help the elderly more mentally able and agile. Help them to keep mentally and physically as active as possible; this improves health and delays age related degeneration.
Create a budget
The job of caring for aging parents can be expensive – you may not be able to take on as much work as before because of the added pressures on your time. Also medical expenses, special furniture, modifications to the home and other elderly aids can be a considerable financial outlay.
You will need to take some tough decisions and prioritize your expenses here. Create a sensible balance between necessary expenses and luxuries, cut down where you can and so far as possible stick to the budget that you’ve created.
Sometimes managing on your own may just not be possible. Consider getting professional help such as a part time caregiver, nurse and so on to help with the job of looking after your aging parent or parents. Overdoing it will take a toll on your health and further escalate health care costs and allied expenses. So admit it when you need the help and get the help you need.
Find out about financial aid that seniors are entitled to
Medicare and Medicaid are some of the state sponsored health benefits that seniors are entitled to. Find out what the entitlement is and then avail of these benefits. They can help greatly in caring for aging parents since significant medical expenses can be recovered here.
Make your own retirement plan
As you care for a beloved elderly person, try to make plans for your own retirement. Typically more and more individuals over the age of 50 are now caring for one or more elderly parent. At 50, you are nearing the age of retirement yourself, and should be thinking in terms of making prudent investments for your own later years.
Take the difficult decision when you have to
While you may be committed to caring for aging parents, at times it is simply not possible to do this at home. The needs of an elderly person in terms of medical aid as well as assisted living may be beyond the scope of what you can do at home. It may also not be financially feasible to continue to have the parent at home.
Here you may have to take some tough decisions. Can someone else do the job of caring for aging parents better than you?