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 needs to take her to the grocery store, doctor’s office, and beauty shop. Someone else needs to take care of laundry and housework. And of course the yard needs to be maintained. But there are some additional critical aspects to caring for a parent that need to be dealt with but often go unnoticed until there’s a problem.
Check out this list of to-dos when creating a plan of care for your senior 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 needed to take care of your parents, or paid or unpaid leave. Contemplate the financial significance of employment-related changes.
- Realize the particular financial implications of caring for a parent at home. Research has shown that family care providers spend over $5,000 annually for care needs, over and above any lost wages.
- Have all family members and friends who will be involved in providing care, as well as yourself and your parents, agree upon a written agreement of care. Even though it could seem unnecessary, getting care details outlined in writing helps eliminate future squabbles.
- Create a plan for ongoing help for yourself, to allow for necessary time for self-care and to provide a safe, trusted channel for your feelings. Consider available options, to incorporate not just 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 Parkinson’s Association.
Qualified in-home care providers are another excellent resource for seniors in need of help with proper care, as well as for the family members caring for a parent or other older loved one. Respite/supplemental care services enable family members to take much-needed breaks from care to deal with their own personal needs and to relax with some recovery time. The best way a person can look after another is to first take good care of himself/herself.
Heaven at Home Senior Care of Denton, TX has additional tips on putting a plan in place for senior care, and is here to help fill in any gaps with our full selection of professional in-home care services in the Dallas Metroplex area. Call us at (866) 381-0500 for assistance.