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3 Tips on Caring For Your Aging Parents

25th Jan 2016

The realization that your parents are getting older can be difficult for many people to cope with. You are forced to acknowledge they are no longer the ones caring for you and they will not be ever present in your life. Many people struggle with the new responsibilities foisted upon them as their parents age. Fortunately, with a little know-how and planning, you can make this season of life memorable and pleasant as well. Included here are a few tips on caring for your aging parents.

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Understand Your Parents’ Needs

The first step in caring for an aging parent is understanding what they need. Are they struggling to keep themselves clean or are they merely unable to drive? Their needs can help you determine whether you should hire in-home care or whether you can simply spend a day or two a week helping them out.

Parents who are no longer able to drive may need help running errands and getting to doctor’s appointments, but are still fully capable of preparing meals for themselves and maintaining hygiene. If you have siblings, it can be wise to work out a care schedule so one child doesn’t bear the full brunt of caring for your parents.

Work Out Costs

If professional help is decided upon, you will need to work out funding options with your siblings. How much will it cost to keep your parent at home with a nurse? Will they need be transferred to a nursing home? Is moving your parent in with you an option? After understanding your parent’s needs, the next step is figuring out costs.

For aging loved ones struggling with Alzheimer’s or dementia, keeping them in their home is preferable for maintaining memory and reducing episodes of forgetfulness. However, this could mean you will have to move into their house or hire in-home care providers. The cost of in-home care providers averages $19 an hour, which can become very costly with 24 hour care.

Learn About Medicare and Medicaid

One of the trickiest aspects of geriatric care is insurance. While your parent is still cognizant and functional is the optimal time for you to figure out their insurance benefits, assets and funeral plans. It can be difficult to have this talk with your loved one, but it will greatly ease the confusion and complications following a death or lapse of mental faculties.

Some parents have very specific wishes about where they would like to be buried or have their ashes spread. Are you aware of their ideas? Knowing how to care for your loved ones even after their death may be a weight off your mind. Having your plan set up early can also help you budget for the funeral expenses before the cost arises.

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