6 Things to Keep in Mind When Caring for an Aging Parent
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6 Things to Keep in Mind When Caring for an Aging Parent

6 Things to Keep in Mind When Caring for an Aging Parent

6 Things to Keep in Mind When Caring for an Aging Parent

Watching our parents get older can be tough, and this time is often full of challenges. However, it’s also a wonderful time to show your parents the love and support they showed you for decades. These tips will help smooth out the transitional process for both you and your elderly parent. We hope that you enjoy this 6 Things to Keep in Mind When Caring for an Aging Parent post.

6 Things to Keep in Mind When Caring for an Aging Parent

1. Financial Issues Can Cause a Great Deal of Stress

If your parent has the capacity to manage their bills and taxes, this likely won’t be a concern. However, if they’re unable to properly review credit card statements, organize their tax documents, and manage their senior benefits, you may need to take the reins. You may also need to consider getting a power of attorney or hiring a lawyer—just make sure it’s someone you trust to manage your parent’s money responsibly.

2. Your Parents May Not Want to Ask for Help

Aging is hard on your parent, and they may not be inclined to ask for help—that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t offer it. For some, asking for help feels like a loss of power and autonomy, so approach your aging parent with sensitivity and consideration.

3. You May Need to Maintain Their Home

If your parent is no longer able to handle the maintenance needs of their home, you’ll likely be saddled with this responsibility. Are you capable of keeping the house in great condition? Are you ready to spend your weekends mowing the lawn or would you prefer to hire a gardener? Make sure you budget for the service providers you’ll likely need to hire – and be sure to do the vetting yourself. Ask around for referrals, and find an individual or company that provides reputable service – in whatever capacity required.

6 Things to Keep in Mind When Caring for an Aging Parent4. Help Your Parents Get Out There and Socialize

As your parents age, it’s easier for them to find themselves more isolated as limited mobility and the loss of a driver’s license can impact their social interactions. Make an effort to help your parent get out and see their friends and loved ones. Visit as often as you can, and consider local programs designed for seniors. Note: Many cities offer transportation services for seniors, so take a look at your local options if your job prevents you from helping your parent get to and from their social destinations.

5. Keep Your Parents Safe

As your parents begin or continue to lose control of their faculties, it becomes increasingly important to have safeguards in place that will keep them protected. If your parents live alone, or are on their own at your home during the day, consider investing in the best medical alert systems for seniors that you can find. These systems are designed to keep aging individuals safe; they can call for medical help if necessary, and feature GPS capabilities so you can rest assured that your elderly mom or dad is in a safe place—especially important if your aging parent is dealing with dementia or Alzheimer’s.

6. It’s Okay if You Can’t Do It Alone

Taking care of an aging parent is no small feat, and it’s important to be realistic about your own limitations. You want to ensure your mom or dad has the best care possible, and you only have so many hours in the day. Evaluate how much time you can commit to their care, then compare it to the amount of care they actually need. If you find that professional help is needed, list out the services you think would best serve your parent. Do they need someone to simply check in a few times a day? Do they require constant supervision? Will you need to hire someone to stay with them at night? The answers to these questions can help you narrow down your options and hire a trusted caregiver.

Caring for an aging parent isn’t always easy, but it can be very rewarding. Keep these aspects in mind and ensure your mom or dad is well taken care of. We hope that you enjoyed this 6 Things to Keep in Mind When Caring for an Aging Parent post.

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31 Comments Leave a Comment »

  1. Such important information! My mom turns 60 this year and I have begun to consider what the future may hold. For now I am thankful that she is happy and healthy.

  2. Annemarie LeBlanc

    My mom is 79 years old and she still thinks she is in her 30s/40s. We let her go with her senior citizen friends to watch a movie or to go to their favorite fast food chain. They also go ballroom dancing every Saturday night. Our community has a very good program for senior citizens. However, when it comes to maintaining her home, my mom does not trust anyone (including me and my siblings) that we can get the house as clean and as orderly as she does. Hopefully we can work something out with that. She’s too old to be doing cleaning tasks.

  3. It’s always good to remember how you would feel if it were you. It can be hard for people to admit they need help once they start to get older.

  4. This is a wonderful post. It truly brings out the true nature of these situations.

  5. Pam

    We have taken care of both my parents and my husband’s parents as they age. They can definitely be reluctant to ask for help.

  6. Sometimes it takes a village but caring for an aging parent is definitely something that I didn’t mind doing when mine were still alive. They need all the help they can get even when they’re not asking for it.

  7. brianne

    What a great post and great ideas. Most parents never ask for help when they really need it! 

  8. These are really great tips! Taking care for an aging parent isn’t easy. These are really helpful!

  9. robin rue

    My dad is getting older, but he’s got a busier social life than anyone else I know. It’s SO important for them to stay active.

  10. Amy

    My dad already passed away and my mom is just 16 and a half years older than me. I know from my MIL’s experience that caring for aging parents is draining.

  11. When I was in my 20’s, I was the sole caregiver for a grandparent. It was really tough.. really tough. I wasn’t financially stable, and she was struggling to be independent, and it was just a very intense time and situation. I also probably wasn’t in a great place in life either – I didn’t have my own health insurance or a stable job, nor would I have been able to keep a job and be a caregiver. Caregivers should really utilize all the resources they can, it is a tough job.

  12. These are great tips that I could have used before my mom passed this year.. This will be very helpful to a lot of people with older parents that need help.

  13. This is great information! I think we take for granted our parents won’t need help, until it’s too late.

  14. Great information. I am in the trenches with my mom right now, and it’s so important to have support.

  15. It’s hard to imagine that there will be a day when your parents need you to help care for them instead of the other way around! It’s good to know tips like these to begin to prepare.

  16. This information is so great! We don’t realize all that is involved when it’s time for us to care for our parents.  

  17. Taking care of an aging parent can be very stressful. I think you have brought up some very important points! Asking for help from your child is probably the hardest thing they had to do!

  18. Great information. I dread the time when I have to think about this for my mom.

  19. Pam

    I care for my 98 year old grandfather. There are certainly challenges but I’m glad I’m able to do it. 

  20. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to be a caregiver for aging parents. These tips seem very helpful on what to do and how to offer help to parents as they age.

  21. What a great post! Love all your ideas. Most parents never ask for help or ask when it’s too late to plan.

  22. These are all great things to consider and think about when taking care of an aging parent. I have agin grandparents and seeing them go through these things is heartbreaking.

  23. I’m in my early 30s with older parents (75 and 79). They’re actually quite spry for their age, but I do worry about them since they both have health issues, namely diabetes.

  24. This is such great information to have! I have a close aunt of mine taking care of her dad and I’m going to pass this onto her.

  25. This is such an important topic and I am not looking forward to this stage with my dad. He just sold his house so unless he buys another one, then I don’t have to deal with that. Finances are always the hardest part because care is so expensive.

  26. My Mom was not aging per say but taking care of her the last year of her life was the most rewarding thing I have ever done. The last two months nearly killed my spirit and I was doomed after she passed (she was 52) but it was a journey that has helped me grow in so many ways. I wish more people would realize what a reward it is to care for their parents but how much we need to consider all aspects of it. Great post! Thank you!

  27. This is excellent information. My parents live 2000 miles away so it’s easy to “forget” that they are getting older. It’s good to be reminded how I can help.

  28. Me and my three other siblings make sure that our support reaches them even though the three of us live a thousand miles away from them.

  29. I think #6 is a good one. Also they may be lonely. I think it’s important to help with that aspect too.

  30. I feel that the most important ingredient in all this is love, to let your parents know how much you care about them. The rest falls into line after that.

  31. We just lost our father in law this week and now my mother in law is all by herself. She is still strong but I’m sure she can’t do everything herself. We live far, good thing her son and daughter are near her to take care if she ever needs anything. Keeping them safe is very important especially knowing she lives alone.

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