Caring for aging parents is a task that should not be taken lightly. Discover our tips to help care for your aging parents.
In the past year, over 34 million Americans provided unpaid care to an adult aged 50 or older.1 This comes as no surprise –– as our parents age, it's natural to want to repay the care they once provided us.
However, many of us feel uncertain about how best to support our aging parents, especially as their health declines.
If you find yourself caring for aging parents, read on for our favorite senior living resources, tips, and advice to ensure your loved ones are receiving the best care possible.
It’s never too early to start talking to your parents about their future care wants and needs. Starting those difficult conversations early can help you and your parents plan for the future and ensure that their wishes are respected. It’s important to have an open and honest conversation about your family member or parents’ health, their financial situation, and their preferences for senior care. Check out our questions to ask aging parents checklist to help guide your conversation.
As your aging parents' needs and health conditions change, so will their care requirements. It's essential to assess their changing needs and adjust the care options accordingly. To find the best caregiver resources, ask yourself if your parent needs help with any of the following:
Determining what your aging parents need will empower you to make informed decisions about the care they require. Additionally, financial resources should be taken into account, as some care services can be costly. It's important to research and compare costs, as well as identify any available financial assistance programs or resources that can help with the costs of care.
Once you do your research about the best care services for your aging parents, you’ll want to develop a care plan. Creating a care plan can be a complex process, and should include your parents or loved ones. They may have specific preferences or concerns that you haven't considered, and it's crucial to take these into account when creating the plan. You might also consider consulting with an Aging Life Care Professional who can help you and your family create a care plan.
Be sure to review and update the care plan regularly as your parents' needs may change over time, to ensure they receive the best possible care.
Caring for older adults can be emotionally and physically exhausting, leading to caregiver burnout. If you're the primary caregiver, it’s important to take care of yourself so that you can provide the most impactful care for your aging parent.
Taking care of yourself means prioritizing both your physical and mental health. Caregivers who take care of their own health have been found to have a reduced risk of developing chronic illnesses themselves.2 So, make time for yourself to rest, exercise, or any activity that will help you decompress. Consider seeking support from friends, family, or a caregiver support group. Doing so will help ensure the health and well-being of both you and your aging parents. For more suggestions, check out our article on how to avoid caregiver role strain.
Caring for aging parents can be both challenging and emotionally draining, especially on top of work, family, and other responsibilities. As a dedicated family caregiver, it's important to recognize when you need help from a third-party. The support can be for you, and may involve joining an organization such as the Family Caregiver Alliance for added support. This way, you have a community that understands your situation and can help you navigate with additional tips and resources.
Or, maybe your parents' needs have shifted and it's time to consider professional care options such as home care or assisted living facilities. Seeking out these types of care options provides your loved ones with the specialized care they need while also giving you support you need to maintain your own well-being.
As your parents age, it’s important to stay connected with them to continue to provide and receive emotional support along with the practical support discussed above.
It’s helpful to remind yourself and your parents that despite the negative stereotypes often associated with aging, there are actually many benefits to growing older. With age comes experience and wisdom, so your parents’ insight can help you make better decisions and navigate life's challenges with greater ease. Older adults may also have more free time to pursue interests and enjoy closer relationships with friends and family, so take advantage of this time to reconnect with your parents. Many older adults report feeling greater contentment and happiness in their later years, as they are more likely to prioritize relationships and experiences over material possessions.
Spending time together through regular phone calls and visits can make you and your parents feel connected and can help alleviate or prevent feelings of loneliness or isolation.
Caring for aging parents can be a dynamic and fluid experience. As their health and needs change, the caregiving situation can become more complex, and plans may need to be adjusted. Being flexible in your approach can help you navigate these changes with ease and reduce stress for both you and your aging parents.
It's important to remain open to new ideas and solutions, and to approach each situation with a willingness to learn and adapt. This may involve reassessing your loved one's needs, considering new care options, or simply modifying your daily routine to accommodate unexpected changes. Additionally, having a support network in place can be invaluable during these times of change, providing you with the resources and guidance you need to make informed decisions and adjust your plans accordingly.
To see how one family caregiver used Truehold to support his aging mother, check out David’s story:
If you’re still navigating your journey to caring for aging parents, we’re here to help. Truehold provides a unique solution for families looking to unlock their equity and secure the financial resources necessary to provide the best care for their aging parents.
Through a sale-leaseback, Truehold will buy your parents’ home to help your family unlock their equity. Then, they can remain in the home as renters – simple as that. This way, your parents don’t need to worry about all of the responsibilities of home ownership. Once partnering with Truehold, your parents will have access to our Care and Services team, which includes occupational therapists and geriatric care managers on call to support your parents’ transition.
Want to learn more? Speak with a Truehold advisor today.
Chat with a real person & get an offer for your home within 48 hours.Call (314) 353-9757