It’s always a challenge to watch your older family members age and deteriorate. All life slows down towards the latter years, and most elderly people need help from others to maintain their quality of life.
Often, the responsibilities of caring for the elderly fall on the immediate family members. Juggling your own life, and caring for the needs of an elderly family member can be an extreme challenge.
Here is a short look at a few tips that may help you more efficiently care for your elderly family member when the time comes.
Have open conversations
You should start having open conversations with your aging family members before they are not able to think as clearly. Take notes on their wishes for treatment and care, and have the tough conversation about financial support.
Some people would rather live in an assisted living situation as their bodies break down, and some would never want to leave home. It’s important that you know the true desires of your elderly family member, and do your best to support and respect their wishes.
Honestly evaluate the situation
Before you take on caring for an elderly family member, you should have a very real, very honest evaluation of the situation. You need to truly decide whether or not you are mentally capable of handling the responsibility.
Besides the mental and emotional stress of caring for an elderly family member, there are other financial stressors to consider. Make sure you clearly address all of the hard questions, before you take on caring for another life full time.
Make time for self-care
Caring for an elderly family member takes a whole lot of time and devotion. It is important that you don’t lose sight of yourself through this time in life. Self-care should always be a priority, and there are options for respite care for added relief.
Remember to show respect
The lines between the roles you and your elderly family member played before you were their caregiver will be thoroughly blurred during this time of life. It is important to be assertive when it is in their best interest, but remember to be respectful.
Remember that you dearly care for this individual, and they have played a role in making you who you are (in most cases). Common challenges for elderly individuals can make them act in ways they normally wouldn’t, but you must always have patience.
Plan for the financial impact
You usually know when the time is nearly that you may have to take on the responsibility of caring for an elderly loved one, and it is vital that you consider the financial implications involved.
Plan to add an extra section to the monthly budget to pay for added equipment, medical supplies, home care, medications, and occasional respite care.