The average person’s lifespan has been on a consistent increase for a long time, meaning that we all have a better chance of enjoying everything that life has to offer. However, this also means that the standards of senior care have had to increase as well. As you may be discovering, caring for an elderly parent can be a challenging and exhausting responsibility. Here are a few tips to take care of yourself while you care for your parent…
Prioritize Quality Time
When your parents start to get into their golden years, it’s pretty common for the bulk of your social interactions to become all business. Even things that are meant to be social visits can become centered around caregiving, and put a strain on the quality of your “quality time”. With all the other responsibilities you have on your plate, you don’t want to find yourself actually resenting spending time with your parent! A good way to get around this is enlisting help from someone. A sibling, cousin, or even a trusted friend who gets along with your parent may be available to drop in and deal with some of your usual caregiving responsibilities. This means that when you see your parent, you’ll be able to spend less time on chores and financial planning, and more time simply being their kid!
Look into Living Facilities
Part of you ending up as the primary caregiver for your parent may be their desire to keep their independence, and an aversion to nursing facilities. This is totally understandable, but not always that practical. If you and your parent want to avoid the clinical nature and stigma of a nursing home, you should look into the alternative options that will take some of the strain off of you. Retirement communities are a popular choice. While a lot of the staff will have medical knowledge and part of the building will be a nursing facility, these homes allow a much more prevalent social aspect, a range of activities and entertainment, and will allow your parent to retain much more of their independence than a nursing home will. There are a lot of sites that make it easy to find one in your area. If your budget is a little wider, you may want to look into hiring an in-house carer who will drop in regularly, help your parent with day-to-day living, and make sure they’re getting all the care they need.
Talk to a Financial Advisor
Aside from the more hands-on aspects of caring for your parent, you may wind up in a position where you’re managing your finances for them. Budgeting for rent, groceries, medical bills and so on can all be on the horizon, which will quickly become overwhelming with everything else that’s resting on your shoulders. By discussing your parent’s finances with a reputable financial advisor, you’ll be able to set out a decent plan for the time ahead of you and figure out the best possible moves for all those difficult financial decisions that come in later life.