Caring for an aging parent
Caring for an elderly parent might be challenging under some circumstances. For example, it is quite hard to take care of an aging person who has Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, as well as for a parent who has other chronic diseases. Luckily, this article will show you the best resources when caring for an elderly parent.
These resources are meant to help you cope with caring for an aging parent, in terms of emotions, finances, and more. Thanks to modern technologies and services, it’s now much easier to access the required resources when caring for an elderly parent.
About caring services and why caring is essential
As the number of elderly people increases, so does the need for older people for social assistance, and also the number of those requesting home care increases.
Home care services allow people with a total or partial disability to live as independently as possible in their own homes. These services also aim to prevent, delay, and replace “active care” (in the hospital setting) or care long-term (in care institutions).
A study from American gerontologists, conducted over a quarter of a century has led Stanley J. Brody to the following two conclusions regarding the care of the elderly:
- The situations when an elderly parent needs support are chronic and dictate the need for continuous and sustained services; these services are medical and social.
- The main maintainers of the dependent elderly person are the family members, and if the family requests assistance and support, it means that the family resources are limited. This second conclusion is based on the following facts:
- The links between the generations are strong and viable, a fact demonstrated by the large proportion of the elderly who live close to at least one adult child and often visit their children.
- Family members give, as non-professionals, most of the care for the elderly.
- Due to studies conducted in the United States of America, it has been shown that the elderly are better cared for by daughters than by sons.
- It was also found that the institutionalization of a dependent elderly person was the last solution to which the family resorted when all other efforts failed.
Home care services provide support and assistance on the one hand to the dependent elderly person to help him continue his life in his own home, in a way as independent as possible, and on the other hand, provide support and assistance to this person’s family , as the main supporter of the dependent elderly.
Family solidarity relationships can be affected somewhat by material difficulties, by the wrong mentality of the family group regarding the duties towards the elderly, by a selfish attitude of adults, or by a feeling of embarrassment, helplessness, in the case of the elderly with severe disabilities.
Depending on which country you live in, there surely are government programs that help people when caring for an elderly parent. Most of these programs are free, given that they are meant to help caregivers assistant their aging parents.
“Make sure the older person you’re assisting is getting every benefit to which they are entitled,” explained Catherine Roper from Caring.com.
In-home caring for an elderly parent is costly and comes in a multitude of types. However nowadays, there are a lot of qualified caregivers that offer their services for money. For instance, there are even retired nurses who are ready to provide their help for a defined rate per hour.
Most adults don’t have enough time to assist their aging parents, especially when their parents have a chronic disease that makes them dependent on someone else for daily routines. Accordingly, caregiving services, while expensive, are one of the best resources when caring for an elderly parent.
Look for financial aid
There are dozens of programs, most of them coming from non-profit organizations, that can help your elderly parent with money for caregiving services, home monitoring, and so on. For instance, NPOs, charitable organizations, Veteran Affairs, and even the church are some of the great resources when caring for an elderly parent.
You should look online for reliable non-profit organizations and charitable ones and see if your aging parent is reliable for the financial aid these companies promise. Keep in mind that you should look for these organizations that work in your state. It’s much helpful that way.
As we’ve also said above, not every adult has enough time to be around an elderly parent all day long. Luckily, home-monitoring systems are some reliable solutions to keep an eye on your parent’s condition remotely. For those aging parents who are more independent, self-monitoring systems are a great choice.
Well, you might be at work from 9 to 5, so you don’t have enough time to care for your aging parent. One of the best resources when caring for an elderly parent is the family. When you are at work or cannot be around for long, ask for another family member to care for your loved one. Also, if you are short of money, you can always ask your family for help.
It’s no surprise that caring for an elderly parent is challenging. So, having some resources when doing that might be mandatory in some situations. Hopefully, the before-mentioned best resources when caring for an elderly parent are helpful for you, too.