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4 Ways to Help to Elderly Parents without Draining Yourself and Your Budget

4 Ways to Help to Elderly Parents without Draining Yourself and Your Budget

by Guest Blogger, Caitlin E.

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Your parents took care of you when you were a kid. They paid for your education and food. They raised you to be a good person. And while they didn’t do that expecting you to return the favor, there might come a day when they’ll need you to step in.

Of course, if that day comes, it will mean that you have to make some changes in your lifestyle, regarding your career, personal life, and finances. No one expects you to give up on your life to care for your parents. But you will need to learn to balance your responsibilities in a way that enables you to continue making an income, caring for your family, and giving your parents all the attention they need.

Because you should not be in this alone, here are a few tips that will help you get through this situation.

See if They Need Help and How Much Help They Need

It’s always hard to admit that our parents, who we considered to be our superheroes, are ill and powerless. Facing the facts early on will help you give them the best care they need. The best thing you can do is to talk to your parents first because they need to be involved in every decision that concerns them.

Then, search for the signs they need help:

  • They’re struggling with household chores.
  • Their personal hygiene is not as it used to be.
  • They’re not eating regularly.
  • They struggle to move around the house and neighborhood.
  • They’re losing hand-eye coordination, which prevents them from driving safely, using tools, and other necessities.
  • They’re losing track of their medication.

Once you determine the condition of your parents, you will know the degree of care they require. For example, they might only need you to help with paying the bills or doing household chores. In more severe cases, they will require assistance with getting dressed and moving around.

Talk to Your Employer

Trying to juggle work and the new responsibilities might be the first to come to mind when you find yourself in a situation like this. However, in most cases, this feat results in dropping one juggling ball. Your productivity will definitely suffer, and your boss will notice it. It’s better for you to tell him/her before this happens.

Be honest. Try to point out your value to the company and explain that you will still do your best to contribute. You can ask to work from home for some time or take family days. Your company might even offer some benefits you can use.

Examine the Financial Situation and Make Plans

The financial aspect of being a caregiver is not to be neglected, as it can take quite a toll on both your and your parents’ budget.

First, you need to asses your current financial situation and see if there is room for savings. As a family caregiver, you might have a chance for a tax deduction, so check that out as well.

Later, you should do the same with your parents’ retirement income, but this is a touch topic. You’ll need to assure your parents that you have their best interest at heart. If they haven’t applied for social security yet, help them do it, and look for any tax and other reliefs that can help. For example, being a member of The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) provides various services, such as insurance coverage and discounts for certain medical equipment.

Consider downsizing their living arrangements as a way of cutting unnecessary expenses and adding to their savings. Of course, it is imperative to plan for the long term and create a budget that will cover the costs of future care.

Don’t Do Everything on Your Own

Taking on all the responsibilities alone can only cause you to burn out faster and damage your own health, which will result in a decreased ability to take care of your parents.

There’s no shame in asking a sibling or a relative for help when it comes to taking your parents to the doctor’s or cleaning the house. If your kids are teenagers or older, they can also help around the house or just be good company to their grandparents. Ask the neighbors to check up on your parents every once in a while and let you know about their condition. This way, the burden will feel lighter, and you’ll be able to balance your life more successfully.

Finally, don’t neglect your health and personal needs. You are of no use to your parents if you’re miserable or sick. Try to find the time to rest, sleep, and socialize, and when you come to their house with a smile on your face, they will feel much better too.

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Elderly Care: How To Do Right By Your Family Member

Elderly Care: How To Do Right By Your Family Member

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Elderly care is definitely a bit of a sensitive topic among some people. It’s hard to think about the options you have when it comes to a family member that struggles. You want to make sure that they are taken care of and in good hands, but you don’t always know what it going to be the best solution to make that happen. So, what you need to do is talk to your parent or family member and try to understand what it is that they’re struggling with. You can then consider the options that may work best for them, their needs and their current situation. Below are a couple of things that you may find will work for your family.

Provide Them With Care

Your first option is to look into the kinds of care options that your elderly family member can have at home. If they are finding it harder to cook all of their own meals, clean, or even bathe and you’re not able to be there for them every day, you may find that a companion care option is exactly what they need. Having a professional to care for them and take care of their needs could be all they need to feel more comfortable at home.

Take Them Out

Sometimes, it’s not that your family member is struggling to take care of themselves, but that they’re struggling with something like loneliness. When that’s the case, you may want to think about trying to take them out a little bit more. You may find that taking them to lunch or to visit some of their favorite places, or even on vacation with you when you go is all it needs to perk up an elderly parent.

Ease The Pressure

Or, you may find that the problem is that they’re under too much pressure to get things done. If you have a very independent elderly family member, they may have a lot of pride in looking after themselves and find it hard to admit that they need help. But, you’re going to need to recognize this and do what you can to ease the pressure. Be sure to take them extra meals round when you think it might save them from cooking, walk their dog, and even buy their groceries for them now and again to save them the trip.

Find A Retirement Community

If you get to the point where you feel like your elderly parent is struggling in their own home, you may want to talk to them about retirement community options. Now, this may not be something they are okay with at first. But if the get extra help and are surrounded by others, it could be all they need to feel a lot better about their situation.

Ask Them To Move In

And finally, you may also have the option to ask them to move in with you. This isn’t always something that is feasible for everyone, but if you have space in your home and you wan to be able to care for your elderly family member, then it could be the perfect solution for both them and for your whole family.

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Tell-Tale Signs Your Elderly Parents Need Help

Tell-Tale Signs Your Elderly Parents Need Help

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Aging comes to us all, no matter how strong and healthy we may be. We will all have to deal with at some point, but before old age affects our own health, the first hurdle we will have to face is coping with elderly parents. As our parents get older, we will need to take a lot more care and attention of them as they become frail and weak. However, not many elderly parents want help from their children, no matter how much they need it. So how do you know when it is time to step in and make sure your elderly parents get all the help they need? Here are the tell-tale signs.

Home And Garden Maintenance Increases

Next time you go around to your parent’s home to visit them, take a look at the property and see how it looks. If there is quite a bit of maintenance that needs doing and repairs that need to be made, this could be a sign that your parents are struggling to cope with some household jobs and tasks. You could suggest to your parents that you start going around once a week to help them maintain their home. If you don’t have enough time, what with work and your own family, you might prefer to hire a gardener or handyman who can take care to bring their home and garden up to scratch.

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Out Of Date Groceries

It is also worth taking a look in your parents’ kitchen and looking at the expiry date on all their fresh groceries. Are there quite a few that are out of date or have spoiled? If so, this could also be a sign that your parents are struggling to cope at home. They may have kept hold of expired groceries rather than go to the supermarket to buy fresh ones. This could be because they are getting quite frail, and can’t cope with a weekly shop at their local supermarket. It could also be a sign of a developing illness, such as Alzheimer’s, and their forgetfulness could be a symptom.

Poor Personal Hygiene

Do you notice a distinct funky smell when you visit your parents now? It may not be a nice thought, but maybe it’s your parents? As we get older, we often forget things and try to get by without doing too much. As a result, many elderly people forget to wash every day or feel that they don’t need to. You should ask your parents and make sure that they still keep up with their personal hygiene. There are some other signs to look out for that are giveaways of poor personal hygiene. For instance, very long nails, unkempt hair, and poor oral hygiene.

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Not Eating Regularly

One sign which lots of people notice in their parents is that they lose any interest in preparing meals and eating. They may also not be eating at regular intervals. This can be a difficult sign to notice at first, especially if you don’t visit them at meal times. One way to spot this change in their behavior, though, is to keep an eye on their weight. If you notice that they start to lose weight quite quickly, then they probably aren’t eating right. Offer to cook for them a few night’s a week or invite them over to yours for dinner to ensure that they get one good meal in them.

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Their Mobility Declines

Are your parents struggling to get around their house? They might find that getting up and down the stairs is now a struggle. If so, and they don’t want to relocate to a bungalow, you could always suggest that they think about the possibility of home lifts or chairlifts. These will help them get upstairs and downstairs with ease, allowing them to go about their usual activities. If your parents find it also hard to walk and balance on level ground, it may be time to get them a walking stick or zimmer frame. In some extreme cases, a wheelchair may be necessary.

Their Driving Is Becoming Very Dangerous

As we get older, we start to lose our sight and our hand-eye coordination becomes quite poor. This has a direct effect on our driving. If your parents start to get into more bother when they are out driving – maybe they end up committing more driving violations and end up causing a couple of accidents – then it could be time to make them stop driving. However, they may not be too happy with this idea as it can greatly limit their independence! But you need to tell them that it is for their own safety. Lots of towns and villages are now well connected with public transport routes, and many elderly people will be able to get discounts on their travel tickets. Explain this to them, and they should start to come round to the idea. You should also offer to give them a lift whenever you are free to do so.

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They Now Lose Track Of Medication

Most elderly people are on various types of medication. Each different type will require your parents to take a certain dose at varying intervals. This can be quite difficult for old people to keep on top of. If you notice that your parents are starting to lose track of their medication, they might need some help every day to take their tablets. If they can’t keep on top of their medicine, and there is no one to help them with it every day, then they might end up having to be hospitalized. One way to help them keep on track is to create a daily schedule for them. Write out exactly what they need to take on each day of the week, and how often.

Watching our parents age can be very distressing and upsetting indeed. However, if you are able to spot the tell-tale signs that they are struggling with their age, you will be able to help them take better care of themselves.

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Health Considerations For Older People: Tips For Caring For Those Closest To You

Health Considerations For Older People: Tips For Caring For Those Closest To You

There comes a time in life where many of us take on the responsibility of caring for other people. As your parents get older, for example, they may become increasingly reliant on you. If you’re caring for those closest to you, here are some considerations to bear in mind.

hands-578917_960_720Image source: https://pixabay.com/en/hands-aged-elderly-old-senior-578917/

Boosting general health

As we get older, we become prone to many different types of illness. It’s often impossible to prevent certain diseases. But making healthy lifestyle choices can help to boost general health. If you’re caring for an elderly parent, try and encourage them to make positive decisions. Help them out with cooking and preparing nutritious meals. Go for walks together, and try and help them to stay as active as possible. Keep up to date with routine dental and eye care checks. Older people tend to have a stiff upper lip when it comes to asking for help. Many don’t want to trouble a doctor if they feel unwell, for example. Make sure that your loved one knows that it’s ok to ask for help and that you’re there whenever they need you.

Getting help at home

As you age, living independently can become increasingly difficult. Tasks that you never thought twice about may become virtually impossible. If you have elderly relatives who are struggling at home, there are options to consider. Perhaps your parents need a little help with making meals. Or you have a grandmother who needs assistance with getting in and out of bed and washing. Maybe your relative needs medical care. If you’re not around all the time, don’t worry. There are services out there that provide tailor-made care. You could contact an agency and ask about personalized care packages, or get in touch with a live-in care agency. With this option, a carer lives in the home, so your loved one has someone with them constantly.

Maintaining a social life

Mental health is as important as physical wellbeing. Elderly people often feel isolated, and this can lead to depression and loneliness. Socialization is really important for older people. Getting out of the house, and spending time with friends can boost mental health and confidence. If you are able to, try and connect your loved ones with community groups and help them to contact friends. If you’re not around to offer lifts, you can arrange transport or enlist the services of care agencies. If your relatives are interested in hobbies or activities, you can often find details of local clubs and societies online.

648139617_fa978315e4_zImage credit https://www.flickr.com/photos/caralfcourage/648139617

When you’re caring for older relatives, you want to do the best job possible. Try and encourage good habits and healthy lifestyle choices. Lend your support, and try and help out where you can. Sometimes, you can be there to provide assistance. But it’s often impossible to provide round-the-clock care. If you’re juggling work, looking after children and being there for your parents, there are people who can help. Care agencies provide a wide range of services. You can get help with basic tasks, such as preparing meals or invest in a more comprehensive care package.

Tia, and TipsfromTia.com  is trying to keep you looking good and
feeling good, from the inside out. If you’ve got a problem or a tip email me! Be sure to Like and share on Facebook or Follow on Twitter or Instagram.