Did you know that family caregivers spend an average of $7,400 of their own money every year?
Caring for a loved one can do more than cause pain in your wallet. The stress alone can reduce your quality of life.
If you have elderly parents who will need care in 2021, you need proven tips to put together a plan.
Keep something to write notes with nearby. It’s time for an honest and overdue evaluation of your options. That process starts with understanding the differences between different types of care.
“Aging in Place” or Independent Living
The overwhelming majority of elderly Americans hope for this option. If your family member can have daily attention from a family member for limited needs, it’s possible to do so.
Ask yourself a few quick questions and be honest about your answers:
- Does your loved one live near essential services?
- Can a family member commit to checking-in daily?
- Can you take care of some needs by installing railing or ramps?
- Does he or she have connections in the neighborhood, or will they become isolated in their home?
In-home care involves providing nonmedical care to a loved one in their home, including one or more of the following activities:
- Mental Exercises
- Physical Exercises
- Medication reminders
- Haircutting or nail clipping
Many elderly adults can stay at home during the pandemic with covid-compliant in-home care services. If you’re concerned about looking for symptoms of dementia, you have options. Plan to play games that stimulate cognitive thinking during your visits, also.
Independent Living Communities
Independent living communities offer condominiums and apartments for elderly loved ones. Most of these communities have on-site banks, beauty salons, fitness programs, and communal meals.
Does your elderly parent value independence, have a desire to stop driving, and need companionship? An independent living community can offer a solution that fits your loved one’s needs and lifestyle choices.
Assisted Living Communities
Does your elderly parent need simple health care, but they can otherwise live an independent life?
An assisted living community offers a middle ground between independence and full-time care. Most facilities also provide housekeeping, activities, and meals.
Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs)
Examine the services provided by a CCRC because they vary more than other types of facilities. A continuing care retirement community requires a heavier fee upfront, but the security and peace of mind can be worth the price of entry.
Does your loved one need limited help daily, and you live farther than an hour away? A CCRC may offer a reasonable solution for everyone.
Memory Care Facilities
Does your loved one have Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia? Memory care facilities can provide the round-the-clock care your elderly parent requires. You won’t have to worry about a parent wandering off the grounds with staff that’s trained to care for seniors with cognitive issues.
Tips for Caring for Your Elderly Parents in 2021
Now that you know about the different facilities and options, what tips do you need to care for a loved one in 2021? Practice these five tips in the new year to provide the care your elderly parent deserves.
1. Find Support
It’s a common phenomenon for people who care for elderly loved ones to feel guilty about asking for help. Everyone wants to believe that they can do everything for someone who raised them from infancy.
Even if you’re Superman or Superwoman, you need help and emotional support while providing care assistance for a loved one. You may discover people showing support in unexpected ways in your community for caregivers. If you’re providing care at your elderly parent’s home, look for the following resources to assist:
- Senior day programs
- Respite care services
- Meal delivery services
- Professional home caregivers
- Volunteer senior companion programs
2. Look for Financial Resources
The average family caregiver who lives more than an hour away from their loved one spends an average of $12,000 each year.
Even with preparation, the financial struggles of caring for aging parents become a stressor in your life. The National Council on Aging provides a benefits check-up service to help with this process.
It’s also worth your time to research your state’s Medicaid site to find available benefits.
3. Decide How Much Care Is Necessary
Have you heard “scope creep” used in the past? Project managers use the term to describe the new elements introduced into projects that extend their time and cost. Don’t allow the same to happen to you in regards to caring for a loved one.
Caring for an elderly parent can be a difficult job, so you want to have a plan with proper expectations for your time and money. If you find yourself becoming overwhelmed by the tasks you need to complete, be honest about scope creep.
4. Talk to Your Employer
Don’t wait until someone at work notices you’re more tired than usual before talking to your employer.
The responsible move for any career involves being honest about the realities of caring for a loved one with your work. If you have to negotiate a more flexible schedule, you may find your employer more accommodating than you believe at this moment.
5. Make Finding Balance a Priority
Finding balance isn’t only for yourself because it’s critical for your loved one’s care. You can’t help someone before you help yourself. If you’re stressed, you may miss important details about caring for an elderly parent.
Don’t assume that you can make this happen organically. Make a schedule that includes time for activities like:
- Home maintenance
- Time with friends or family members
If you’re not honest about needing help with care, you’re not doing a proper job as a caregiver.
Do You Need More Information?
Don’t assume that you have to care for elderly parents alone. If you’re nervous about caring for a loved one in 2021, you have resources ready to provide empathetic help.
Contact us through our website with any questions you may have or give us a call at 1-855-965-4145.