5 Questions You Should Ask Yourself to Provide Better Care to Your Aging Loved Ones
Caring for elderly family members requires perseverance, patience, and devotion. A lot of people find it extremely difficult to accept the fact that their aging loved ones are no longer capable of taking care of themselves. You have seen them function as strong, independent, and liberated adults all throughout your life. When the time comes for them to let go of their independence and liberty, it becomes painful for you to watch them transition into this new lifestyle.
In a situation like this, it is very important for you to maintain your composure and get your act together. You need to put yourself in a position from where you can provide your aging loved ones the best possible care. The first step toward caring for your elderly loved ones involves coming up with a detailed care plan. Making thisplan becomes much simpler when you address the following crucial questions:
1) What is the Physical Condition of my Parent?
The kind of care that you need to provide to your loved one will be mainly determined by the physical condition of your aging parent. You need to schedule an appointment with a physician (preferably one who specializes in geriatric care) and discuss all the health problems that your loved one has or could have in the near future. Additionally, you should gather and assess all the medical records and prescription lists so that you become well aware of the kind of medical assistance that your parent requires in case of an emergency. The medical and physical needs of your aging parent should be properly communicated to the caregiver that you have appointed.
2) What Is the Emotional Condition of My Parent?
As a child or a grandchild, your responsibility is to make sure that emotional needs of your aging loved ones are taken care of alongside their physical needs. Are they getting bored staying at home all day long? Do they feel anxious about not having an active social life anymore? Is retirement making them feel useless? Are they beginning to think that they have become a burden to you and your family? These are questions that you need prompt answers to.
If you are not sure of what is going on in their minds, then simply sit down with them and have an honest conversation about what’s bothering them in life. Taking care of aging parents becomes much easier when you are well aware of what their emotional needs are.
3) What Financial Resources Do I Have Available?
It is your financial responsibility to pay for your parent’s care and medical assistance. Hence, you need to assess your own personal finances to find out how much you can financially contribute to this cause. You need to be careful about not overspending during the early stages. Care is a long-term expense. The cash flow has to remain steady as long as your parents are in need of professional care and medical assistance. Make sure that you conduct your own research to find out the most cost-effective care services and healthcare facilities for your aging parents.
4) What Human Resources Do I Have At Hand?
It would be silly of you to think that you can personally take care of your aging loved ones 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There are times when you would have to catch up on life and attend important appointments. This is when you will need someone else to step into your shoes and offer their companionship to your aging loved ones.
You are encouraged to ask your siblings, cousins, uncles, aunts and even neighbors to join you in caring for your parents. In fact, the best option is to distribute the responsibility of care equally so that one individual or a single group of individuals does not become burdened with all the obligations. Besides, your elderly loved ones would definitely appreciate the presence of multiple relatives, friends, and acquaintances.
5) What Does My Loved One Have to Say About This?
Not taking into account the input of your parent when it comes to providing them with care is a big mistake. You need to know what their take on the matter is. Include them in all your discussions and make them feel that they are the most important part of the family. They are sure to have their own preferences about healthcare and professional caregiving. Make sure that those opinions are not disregarded or ignored.