Since your mother gave up her car keys and is having difficulties moving around on her own, you and your siblings have made the decision to share the task of providing for her care needs. Someone has to take her to the doctor’s office, grocery store and beauty shop. Someone else needs to take care of laundry and housework. And of course the yard needs to be maintained. But there are a few other critical factors to taking care of parents as they age which need to be dealt with but often go unnoticed until there’s an issue.
Consider this list of to-dos when coordinating a plan of care for your elderly loved one:
- Arrange and store all essential personal information together, including medical information, power of attorney paperwork, wills, trusts, financial information on all assets and liabilities, insurance, advance healthcare directives, and more.
- Check to see if your employer offers a flexible work schedule to allow for time required to care for the senior, or paid or unpaid leave. Consider the financial consequences of employment-related changes.
- Realize the financial repercussions of supplying care for a loved one. Research shows that family caregivers pay over $5,000 yearly for care needs, over and above any lost income.
- Have all family members and friends who will be involved in taking care of your parents, as well as yourself and your parents, agree upon a written agreement of care. While it may seem unnecessary, obtaining care details outlined in writing helps eliminate future disputes.
- Create a strategy for ongoing support for yourself, to allow for much-needed time for self-care and to supply a safe, trusted outlet for your personal feelings. Think through available options, to include not only immediate family and close friends, but also a counselor or therapist, your place of worship, internet or in-person caregiver support groups, and disease-specific organizations, such as the Parkinson’s Association.
Experienced in-home care providers are another excellent resource for seniors in need of assistance with good care, as well as for the family members taking care of parents at home. Supplemental care services allow family members to take much-needed breathers from care to take care of their own personal needs and to unwind with some recovery time. The best way a person can nurture another is to first take good care of himself/herself.
CareWorks Health Services has more recommendations on putting a plan in place for elder care, and is here to help fill in any gaps with our full selection of professional in-home care services in Orange County, California. Call us at (949) 859-4700 for assistance.