A recent study from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College shows that 10% of adults aged 60 to 69 whose parents are still living will serve as their caregivers. Often, their parents who have reached their 80s are more likely to deal with chronic illnesses and other disabilities, making it vital to learn how to care for them properly while also learning how to personally cope with its challenges.
Do you want to learn how to cope with taking care of elderly parents? Keep reading!
1. Don't Let Caregiving Take Over Your Life
One of the most important tips to follow when taking care of your aging parents is to not let caregiving take over your life. Often, people that are caregivers for their parents begin to experience burnout, leaving them feeling powerless and overwhelmed.
Caregiver burnout can make it difficult for you to prioritize your mental health and set boundaries as a caregiver.
Because of this, it is important that you still invest in yourself. If there are things that give your life meaning, you make time for them, whether this is a hobby, your career, your family, or anything else.
2. Consider Your Finances
There are also many financial impacts that come to people who care for their aging parents. In order to support your parents, you may need to get government assistance or other types of financial support. You may even be eligible for tax relief when you claim an elderly parent as your dependent.
While some people are able to leave their jobs to care for their parents full-time, others simply cannot afford this. In these cases, you may ask, "will medicare pay me for taking care of my parents?" This is a possibility, so you may need to find out if you or your family is eligible for this type of financial support.
Considering your financial situation when caring for your parents is essential, as it will help you determine how much help you can afford.
3. Prioritize Mental Health
Next, you need to prioritize mental health for both you and your parents. It is common for aging adults to struggle with depression or other mental health issues. Because of this, you must learn how to spot the signs of mental health issues in older adults.
Often, they will become frustrated with their health problems or worry about their finances. You should also be aware of changes to their mood, energy levels, and changes to their other habits.
It is also important that you prioritize your own mental health. Taking care of yourself will allow you to provide better care for your aging parents.
4. Set Healthy Boundaries
For example, you may not feel equipped to help your parents with personal care. This includes bathing, toileting, and other basic hygiene needs. If you do not feel comfortable aiding with this part of your parent's care, you may be able to get help from in-home care providers.
Setting boundaries will help you care for your own needs while still caring for your aging parents. It will help you establish expectations of your care and will help you have mutual respect with your parents.
To have good boundaries, make sure you are realistic, firm, and clearly communicate your expectations to your parents.
5. Find Supportive Resources
It is also important to find supportive resources that could benefit you and your parents. Often, you can find CareLink services for homebound elderly adults as well as their caregivers.
For example, CareLink offers several services including care coordination, home care,, Meals on Wheels, family caregiver services, and more.
6. Get Caregiving Help
Finally, you may need to get caregiving help. When you attempt to take care of your parents on your own, it can lead to caregiver burnout and other forms of stress. There are many types of in-home care services that can help your parents with housework, meal preparation, and even transportation.
When you get this additional help, your elderly parents will be able to stay independent for as long as possible.
While some of these services could have an additional cost, they can provide professional health care that you may not be able to offer.
Need Tips for Caring for Elderly Parents? We Can Help
When you are a primary caregiver for your aging parents, it is important that you are prepared and find the best ways to help them. By following each of these tips for caring for elderly parents, you can avoid caregiver burnout while still being there for your parents.
If you have been wondering, "how can I help my aging parents?" CareLink can help! We offer resources and advice on caring for elderly parents and can help you find the care you need.
Contact us today to learn more about our services and to find resources for the stress that can come with caring for elderly parents.