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Adapting to the Changing Needs of Elderly Parents

elderly parents

Dedicating yourself to the care of another person is truly admirable, but it is never easy. For the children of aging parents, becoming a caregiver often comes far sooner than expected, and many feel unprepared. Caring for your elderly parent’s needs, however, is a deeply meaningful experience that can be managed successfully. Here are some strategies that can help you adapt to your new responsibilities.

Develop a plan

The sooner you can develop a concrete plan for how to care for your aging loved one, the easier it will be to move forward. Planning for the future works best when multiple members of the family are involved in the decision-making process; this helps spread the load while also ensuring that no family resources are overlooked. An effective plan should answer these basic questions:

  • What are my parent’s current health needs, and how can I expect them to change?
  • How much assistance will be needed each day?
  • Can they continue to live alone?
  • Who is available to provide help?
  • Who will handle important decisions, such as those regarding financial issues?
  • Would it be best to hire a part or full-time caregiver?

Since the aging process brings many surprises, your plan may need to be reviewed and revised occasionally. Even so, having a concrete plan in place brings great peace of mind to those involved in caregiving.

Manage your expectations

Though maintaining a positive attitude is crucial to success, those who have unrealistic expectations can end up deeply frustrated. Sadly, the decline in health associated with aging is inevitable. Rather than striving for unrealistic resolutions to your loved one’s health problems, focus on increasing their quality of life and making the most out of every moment you share together. When setbacks occur, you’ll then have the emotional energy to deal with them successfully.

Remember to give them their independence

Caring for an aging parent is much like being a new parent. It’s natural to worry about every detail and want to be there every moment – in fact, this shows how deeply you care. Even more than growing children, however, elderly parents need and deserve their independence. Many elderly ones maintain satisfying, independent lifestyles for many years – despite having received a disturbing diagnosis. Knowing when it’s safe to give some space helps both parents and children avoid frustration and burnout.

Know when to ask for help

Caring for an aging parent with complex health problems must be a team effort. When many hands collaborate, families can guarantee that their loved ones will enjoy their golden years in comfort. Fedelta Home Care has been helping families achieve this goal for over two decades. If you’re located in the Puget Sound area and are interested in receiving further guidance and support from our home care professionals, contact us today to learn more about our comprehensive services.

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