Aging is an inescapable part of life, and if you have younger parents or even senior parents who are in good health, it may be hard to imagine how aging will one day affect them, yourself, and other loved ones. Aging can have drastic effects on a person’s physical well being, appearance, emotional state, and more.
As the effects of aging progress, your parents may not be able to take care of themselves at all, or it may not be safe for them to live in their current home. Thinking about your options to help your elderly parents can be overwhelming, but there are things you can do to make them more comfortable at home or help them transition into long-term care.
Regularly Assess Their Needs
Once aging starts to have a noticeable effect on your parents, you’ll need to consider their needs on a regular basis. This includes things like safety needs, home support, social needs, mobility, medical needs, and cognitive health. If their needs are relatively easy to take care of, such as a minor case of hearing loss, you can likely have them diagnosed and treated at a local professional hearing services facility. Here an audiologist can help you obtain hearing aids and receive assistance for all other hearing health-related needs.
If they need help with things like medication management, mobility, or transportation, then you’ll have to decide how much assistance you can provide yourself. Particularly if they live in isolated areas or don’t have other family members nearby, you may have to consider hiring a caregiver to help you. Your own needs and abilities have to be examined as much as theirs.
Be Aware of Financial Options
There’s no getting around the fact that caring for the elderly is expensive. Depending on their finances, your parents may be to shoulder their own financial burden, or you may need to look into getting them help. Think about the level of care they’ll likely require, whether operations will be involved, the costs of assisted living if needed, not to mention the simple, everyday cost of living.
If an aging parent has a life-threatening illness and a life insurance policy, they can sell it for financial assistance. American Life Fund offers viatical settlements specifically to those with life-threatening illnesses, and these settlements differ from traditional life settlement transactions. The payout for a viatical settlement is completely tax-free, and the money is immediately available. Best of all the policyholder has the freedom to do whatever they want with the money. It could be used to pay for home care, cancer treatment, other medical expenses, or any other steps to improve your parent’s quality of life.
Look Into Additional Help
Caring for aging parents on your own can be incredibly difficult, but you don’t have to take care of everything yourself. Government programs like Medicaid may be able to assist you. There are also many support groups and organizations out there that can help you find additional benefit programs to help you and your loved ones. The National Council on Aging offers a convenient way to search for benefits for medication, food, housing, employment, and more. You may also be able to find financial assistance through local agencies.
Keep Your Parents Involved
The effects of aging are scary, and it can be easy for your parents to feel like they’re losing control of their life. Regular and clear communication is important to understand everyone’s wishes, and your parent needs to be as involved as possible with your care plans. It’s generally best to take small steps at first, such as removing trip hazards and improving home safety. Once your parents are comfortable with your involvement, you can start talking about further steps.
Explore Long-Term Care Options
There may come a time where you and your family simply aren’t equipped or lack the experience to care for your parents. You’ll need to think about your options ahead of time to ensure your parents get the best care. You may be able to get by with in-home care, which is often cheaper and more beneficial than hospital or nursing facility care. If your parents will need 24/7 care, you’ll need to look into different assisted living options based on the extent of their needs.
Finding a good balance between what your parents need and what they want will be tricky, and it will be important to keep in regular contact to address their concerns and ensure their wellbeing.