Did you know 34.2 million Americans gave unpaid care to a family member 50 years or older within the last 12 months? If you’re one of those people, you know how taking care of elderly parents at home is a full-time job.
Then there’s your other job. If you have kids, that’s another around-the-clock commitment. The pressure is enough to drive you mad, and you don’t have any other options.
Giving up your life to care for elderly parents doesn’t have to be your only method. Check out these helpful tips that will ease your burden and also increase your capacity for care.
1. Find Helpers
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Unless the situation is dire, finding help early on in the care process is a great way to mitigate your burden. Before you house and care for your parent or parents, discuss the scenario with loved ones.
Bringing a parent into your home doesn’t mean you should shoulder the entire responsibility. Make a concrete plan with your siblings and other family members to delegate tasks and responsibilities.
The cost of taking care of elderly parents at home is two-fold. There are the costs associated with their direct caretaking.
Then there are the costs of lost wages and time. Bearing these costs alone will only lead to your lowered quality of life.
2. Meal Prep and Planning
Seniors run a higher risk of malnutrition. Given your hectic schedule, you may not be able to cook your elderly parent a nutritious meal every night.
Rather than a bucket of fried chicken, plan and prep their meals ahead of time.
This meal prep will also be helpful during times they may be alone. Providing easy access to healthy food is one of the best tips for caring for elderly parents at home.
3. Seek Any Financial Help
The cost burden of elderly care is immense, and there are programs available to help. While taking care of elderly parents at home and getting paid is not an option, there are ways to receive remuneration for your efforts.
For example, if your elderly parent is an armed forces veteran, they may have access to a flexible care budget that pays up to $2,200 a month.
4. Have a Plan for Outside Assistance
At some point, you will need outside help for taking care of elderly parents at home. Don’t let that day sneak up on you, especially if they’ll require dementia care.
Seek out and consult with care agencies early in the process so you’ll have someone you trust. This way, you’ll have a steady hand at the ready to provide any assistance you’ll need.
Take Care of Yourself While Taking Care of Elderly Parents at Home
While taking care of elderly parents at home can be a labor of love, it’s also stressful. If you don’t take the time for self-care, you cannot provide the level of care necessary.
Make sure to take a breath, get help, and delegate caretaking responsibilities. This way, you can stay mentally healthy and meet all of your caretaking responsibilities.
Do you need more home caretaking tips? Check out the rest of our page.