Caring for the elderly is not an easy job. For many, it can feel overwhelming when aging parents begin to need help—and balancing your own life while caregiving can take a toll on your health. However, it doesn’t always have to be a burden. It can be a fulfilling experience for everyone involved with a few tricks and tips.
Your parents will need you but won’t want to feel dependent. After a certain age, living with hearing loss and bad eyesight will become dangerous, and hearing aids and eye surgery may be necessary. They may need assistance with daily tasks or updating their insurance policy.
You may have to help lower their premium payments or explain the latest technology. Perhaps you can help them understand the life settlement industry and organize their medical expenses.
You also must ensure they don’t get cheated by a third party — older adults are at risk of financial scams. If you’re disorganized, you may unintentionally treat your parents as a burden. Instead, make it easier for yourself with some of these tips.Caring for aging parents usually begins with small things but can quickly feel like a full-time job if they fall ill. Here are some tips to make things easier! Click To Tweet
CARING FOR AGING PARENTS CHECKLIST
Space it out
If you do not live with your parents, insist on visiting for long hours every day. Assess what kind of care they need and how much.
Offer to help around the house and do their chores — but resist the urge to stifle their independence.
Create a list of tasks, and help them stay active and healthy. Don’t try to lecture them or bombard them with advice.
Even if they have a terminal illness, give them space to be themselves.
Balance your caregiving with fun activities. It will help you relax, and your parents feel loved.
Let your elderly parents make decisions
Old age brings several health issues, even without chronic illness. The most common include impaired eyesight and hearing loss.
As a close family member, you can ensure they get the most effective treatment. However, don’t make health care decisions for them unless they cannot do so themselves.
For example, help them find the right hearing center if they're losing their hearing. However, don’t choose it for them.
If you visit the hearing center with them, let them talk to the audiologist. Of course, you have their best interests at heart and want them to have better hearing. And you may understand the ins and outs of the latest technology and ear hearing aids. However, decisions about hearing tests and hearing aids should be their own.
Seniors looking for hearing aids want a secure fit or a lightweight feel. They may feel embarrassed and want a discreet, invisible-in model.
To help them pick, explain things like advanced noise-processing technology. Talk to them about canal hearing aids, but don’t push them to decide. After all, a superior fit will help them more than fancy external controls.
Use Health.com's review of the best hearing aid brands to understand all the options better so that you can pass on valuable information to your aging parents.
Behave in a similar way for other health-related issues.
Sometimes stubborn aging parents need professionals
Caring for your aging parents is an act of love. However, in some situations, you may be unable to manage independently. Your parents may still be healthy. They may not suffer from chronic illness or need help with everyday tasks. However, as they grow old, they will need a helping hand.
You can make caring for them easier with professional help. No, this does not always mean a seniors-only community or live-in nurse. Senior care services allow your elderly loved ones to keep living in their own homes.
Sometimes, even a home visit from a physiotherapist can make a difference.
Help your aging parents stay healthy and happy. Gift them yoga sessions, or send them on a relaxing retreat. Outdoor activities improve health, and older people often don’t get enough exercise.
If you are already busy with your own life, you could consider hiring someone to help your parent with daily household tasks. A caregiver doesn’t have to be around for health-related issues— sometimes, it’s nice just to know that someone is there to help if needed.
They can even help with medications by pre-sorting and labeling them so your parent doesn’t mix anything up.
There is also respite care for family caregivers that can give you a short-term break when needed.
Research expenses to help your parents in their old age
Caring for older people is expensive. Even if your parents have savings for medical expenses, there are other costs to consider. Make sure they save money for a chronic illness or sudden terminal illness.
Tailor your research to their specific needs. Will they need money for a retirement home? Do they need to save for terminal illnesses? Will life expectancy affect their life insurance policy premiums? And do they need an additional premium? Will they get enough cash payment if they sell what they have?
Older people have a hard time getting health insurance and medical expenses in order. So, this is where you can help your aging parents the most.
Also, help them navigate the life settlement market. Start by asking them to pick some viatical settlement companies they prefer. A viatical settlement purchases their life insurance in the event of a terminal illness.
The cash value is usually enough to cover end-of-life expenses that you may not be able to afford. And, it could help with some medical bills too.
Also, check what life insurance policy they have— and if they don’t have life insurance, convince them to get some. See if you can lower their premium payment by contacting the insurance company to ensure they’re getting a fair price.
Of course, do not do this without the policy owner's permission (like a written agreement). Stay safe!