Now that Mom’s given up the car keys and is beginning to move around a bit more slowly, the decision has been made to divvy up her care needs between yourself and your siblings. Someone has to take her to the doctor’s office, grocery store and beauty shop. One of you needs to help with her housework and laundry. And certainly, the yard needs to be kept up. But you’ll find other crucial aspects to caring for parents that must be addressed but often go unnoticed until there’s a difficulty.
Check out this list of to-dos when organizing a plan of care for your aging parents:
- File all important personal information such as financial information on all assets and liabilities, insurance information, medical information, power of attorney paperwork, advance healthcare directives or do not resuscitate orders and more.
- Check to see if your employer offers a flexible work schedule for time required to care for the older adult, or paid or unpaid leave. Carefully consider the financial ramifications of employment-related changes.
- Realize the financial implications of supplying care for a loved one. Research has shown that family caregivers pay over $5,000 every year for care needs, over and above any lost wages.
- Put together an agreement of care between yourself, your senior loved one, and any other family members or friends who will be involved in providing care. Although it may seem unnecessary, obtaining care details outlined in writing helps eliminate future squabbles.
- Create a strategy for continuing support for yourself, to allow for needed time for self-care and to provide 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, Internet or in-person caregiver support groups, and disease-specific organizations, such as the Alzheimer’s Association.
Professional in-home caregivers are one more excellent resource for support for aging adults in need of assistance with good care, as well as for the family members delivering their care. Respite care services help family members to take much-needed breathers from caring for parents in order to focus on their own personal needs and to unwind with some recovery time. The most effective way a person can take care of another is to first take good care of himself/herself.
All Care, serving Jackson, Josephine, and Klamath Counties in Oregon, has additional recommendations for putting a plan in place for senior care, and is here to help fill in any gaps with our full range of professional in-home care services. Contact us at (541) 857-9195 for assistance.