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 bring her to the beauty shop, supermarket and doctor’s appointments. Someone else needs to take care of laundry and housework. And of course the yard needs to be maintained. But there are some other necessary factors when caring for elderly parents which need to be dealt with but often go unnoticed until there’s a problem.
Check out this list of to-dos when assembling a plan of care for elderly parents:
- 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 accommodate time needed to care for your parents, or paid or unpaid leave. Think about the financial consequences of employment-related changes.
- Realize the financial implications of supplying care for a family member. Research has shown that family caregivers pay over $5,000 annually for care needs, over and above any lost income.
- Write down an agreement of care that you, your loved one and all others who will be involved in providing care can agree upon. Even though it could seem unnecessary, having care details outlined in writing helps eliminate future arguments.
- Create a strategy for regular assistance for yourself, to allow for needed time for self-care and to provide a safe, trusted channel for your personal feelings. Consider available options, to incorporate 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.
Professional in-home care providers are another excellent source of support for older persons in need of assistance with care, as well as for the family members delivering their care. Respite care services allow family members to take much-needed breathers from care to look after their personal needs and to relax with some downtime. The most effective way a person can take care of another is to first care for himself/herself.
Atlanta Home Care Partners, providers of home care in Atlanta GA, have more useful information on caring for elderly parents and developing a care plan, and is also here to help fill in any gaps with our full selection of professional in-home care services. Call us at 404.228.0103 to learn how we can help with home health care in Decatur and the surrounding areas.