Adult Day Health

How to Care For Aging Parents - Our Guide

As our parents age, they may need additional support and care to maintain their quality of life. Learn more about caring for aging parents in our blog.

As our parents age, they may need additional support and care to maintain their quality of life. 

As the roles shift, this can be a time of questions for parents and their adult children. Can they stay at home safely with limited assistance? Do they need help from an adult day health program, or do they need to move to assisted living?

The good news is there are so many options for adults as they age these days! Here are some things to think about when planning for the future,

1. Start the Conversation and Know When to Step In

The first step in caring for aging parents is to chat with them about their needs and wants for their future care. This can be a tough topic, with parent's unable to accept some of their new limitations, and needs for support. 

Encourage your parents to share their feelings and listen to them. It may help to involve another person, such as a geriatric care manager, to make the conversation easier, and have someone to assess the needs of the situation from an outside view.

It’s also important to know when to step in. There are several signs that you may need to change living arrangements or get extra help such as:

  • Sudden health emergencies
  • A gradual health decline
  • A new diagnosis
  • Significant changes in memory, or cognition
  • Social withdrawal

On the other hand, you should know when not to step in, too. Independence is important to a lot of people—including your parents. Be sure to take the conversation slowly and carefully. 

2. Assess their Needs

Once you understand your parents' wishes, it's time to assess where they’re at and what they need to thrive. This is a time to take note of any visible changes you have noticed in their day to day routines.

This may involve looking at different parts of their lives, including:

  • Physical health
  • Mental health
  • Their living environment
  • Their financial situation

Understanding their needs can help you figure out the level of support and care your parents will need.

3. Consider In-Home Care

If your parents can live alone but need help with daily tasks, in-home care may be the best option. 

In-home care providers can help with several day-to-day activities, such as:

  • Bathing
  • Dressing 
  • Meal preparation
  • Housekeeping
  • Transportation

In-home care also helps aging adults keep some independence and control—even if they need help along the way. 

4. Assess Their Living Situation

If your parents can’t live alone anymore, it is time to think about what a safe next step looks like for them. Would assisted living be best? Or could they remain independent for longer with additional support? and spend daytime at an adult day health center when no one is home?

Before making a decision, you should consider a few different things, including location, specific services, and the cost of each option. You should also be sure they can’t live independently before making any life-changing decisions. Although there’s nothing wrong with needing assisted living, deciding to seek different living arrangements can be an unnecessary first step if they just need a little help during the day.

5. Talk Finances

As our parents age, it's important to talk with them about money and what they can afford for their future. Many adults have a plan, but sometimes life gets in the way. As your loved one ages, if they are unable to manage their money on their own you may need to set up a plan to help out.

Future plans are important too — for example, ensuring that they have a proper will and that you've discussed healthcare wishes for the future. Waiting too long to address these issues can postpone making critical decisions during times of crises. 

6. Seek Outside Support

Caring for aging parents can be tough—no one wants to see their loved ones struggle, feel lonely, or be in danger of things like falls.

That’s why it's important for you to seek support from family, friends, and community resources. This may include adult day programs, support groups, care management and counseling services.

7. Take Care of Yourself 

Finally, it's important to take care of your own health and well-being. Caring for aging loved ones can make it hard to remember to take care of ourselves too.

Make sure that you keep up with your day-to-day activities that keep you going. This may include exercise, stress-management techniques, and time for personal interests and hobbies.

It’s impossible to care for someone if you aren’t caring for yourself first. 

Sevita’s Services for Seniors Can Help

Caring for aging parents is a way to give back some of the love they’ve given to us. You don’t have to do it all alone though.

Sevita’s day programs can help you care for your aging parents, too. We understand the needs of seniors—though most want to live at home, as needs change they support we give needs to change too.

Our Services for Seniors help people make friends, enjoy their hobbies, and continue to live fulfilling lives—all while having caring nurses to assist with any medical issues. 

Discover more about how Sevita can help you care for your aging parents today. 

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