Becoming a Caregiver for an Elderly Parent

Becoming a caregiver for an elderly parent can be a lot to take on. But with these tips, you can make the transition smoother and less stressful!

Caregiver daughter in black blouse with elderly mother in blue jean blouse smiling for the picture

When you’re young, you think your parents will live forever. They are your heroes and the strongest people you know. They keep you alive, and there’s nothing they wouldn’t do for you.

It can be difficult then, as they get older, to watch their mental and physical health decline. As they age, your elderly parents may begin to struggle to carry out basic everyday tasks such as climbing the stairs or getting out of the bath. Their mental acuity may deteriorate, and they might show signs of dementia or other degenerative conditions. Now the tables have turned, and as their child, it is your job to look after them and protect them from harm.

You could always go down the route of sending them to live in a nursing care home. This will allow them to have the constant care they need at all hours of the day, as well as the social benefits of living with a community of people. But what if your parents don’t want to move out of their home, or you can’t afford the fees? Perhaps you don’t want to send your mother or father away to be in the hands of strangers. You may decide instead to keep them at home and become their personal caregiver yourself.

This is a commendable option, but it will require a lot of work on your part. It is not a job for everyone. But by making your home more comfortable for them to age in place with you by doing things like reading medical guardian reviews and purchasing equipment to give you both peace of mind is a great start. If you would like to go down this route, here are a few tips to help you provide the best care possible.

Work out what care they need

Before you can commit to becoming a caregiver, you need to understand exactly how much care your parent needs. Create a list of the daily, weekly, and monthly tasks, and this should give you an idea of how much time you’ll need to commit to your personal care responsibilities. Think about what you are comfortable with. If your parent needs help with personal tasks like bathing and going to the bathroom, this might be beyond your comfort zone. If so, then you may find a personal carer who can do this for them.

Enlist other family members to help

Although you’ve committed to being their primary caregiver, this doesn’t mean you can’t get help. Are there any other members of your family who would be willing to lend a hand now and then? If you have other siblings, ask them to help you out with some of your errands.

Look after your own health

The responsibilities of caregiving can take their toll on you, so it’s essential you look after your own mental and physical health. Make sure you get enough time to relax and indulge in some self-care. Be realistic about your abilities and how much work you can take on without harming your wellbeing.

Get support

Being a caregiver is a full-time job, and you may be able to get financial support. Programs such as CDPAP allow you to receive payment for your caregiving responsibilities.

Becoming a caregiver for an elderly relative is not a decision to be taken lightly, and you will need to be sure you can handle it before you commit. Follow these tips, and you will find yourself better equipped to give your parent the care they need.

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