Watching your parents go from being the strong defenders of your universe to needing assistance with caring for themselves and their home is a sobering experience for any adult child.
For those who have assumed the position of official or unofficial caretaker of their elderly parents, or those who realize that they will be doing so soon, watching this decline results in a need to take action. Adult children in this situation often look for ways to help provide the right level of care to provide safety and security, while also allowing elderly parents to remain in the comfort of their own homes. If you are an adult caretaker for your parents and find that you are struggling to find ways to extend the time frame for your parents to remains safely in their own home, here are some proactive suggestions.
Develop a safety net
Few adult children can place their own lives on hold to provide full-time care for their parents. Most are also raising children, working, or involved in other activities that are not easily put aside. A good way to make it possible to maintain your own life while still taking a more involved stance in caring for your elderly parents is to develop a strong safety net to assist with their care.
To begin the creation of a safety net, start by getting together with siblings, adult grandchildren or nieces and nephews to ask for help. If you have several people interested in helping, it can work well to assign each a day of the week or month in which they will visit your parents or be available to assist with home maintenance or running errands. This type of arrangement offers increased social interaction for your parents, while helping to make caring for them easier for all involved.
Ask for oversight
Adult children who do not live in the same area as their parents can help handle emergency situations by asking a trusted neighbor to take an interest in their parent's well being. This could be as simple as asking them to be observant and calling you if they feel something is amiss at your parent's house or physically checking on them when you cannot respond quickly to a need.
Adult children who cannot put together a large safety net to help with the care of their parents should consider hiring a qualified senior care aide for a set number of hours or days each week. Senior care aides are trained to handle a variety of tasks that your parents may need assistance with and can remove some of the burden from you.
To learn more about the options available for your elderly parents, contact a trusted senior care services organization in your area or ask your parent's medical care provider for a recommendation.