Being a caregiver for an aging parent is one of the toughest jobs there is. Like many people, you may have found yourself thrust into the role unexpectedly. Even if you knew it would happen eventually, the day-to-day reality of caregiving can be jarring and stressful. For help, check out our list of essential advice for caregivers below.
Essential Advice for Caregivers
Sort Out Their Coverage
Educate yourself about your parent’s insurance situation. What do Medicare and Medicaid cover? What kind of prescription drug coverage do they have? What are their out-of-pocket limits and co-pays? If necessary, visit your local Social Security office to be walked through everything in person.
If your loved one’s medical or financial situation is particularly complicated, it may be worth it to hire a senior care manager for assistance. This professional can evaluate the situation to come up with a customized care plan for your parent. They can also help you and your loved one make the most of available community resources.
Join a Support Group
It’s easy to feel alone while caring for an elderly loved one. Fortunately, most communities have numerous support groups for caregivers. Check with local hospitals, nursing homes, and religious organizations. At the very least, sit in on a meeting or two. Chances are that you will derive many benefits from doing so.
Take Care of Yourself
While caring for a senior, it’s tempting to put your own needs on the back burner. To be an effective caregiver, however, you must take care of yourself too. Invest time in your own physical and mental health, and don’t be afraid to take a break.
Set firm boundaries for your caregiving duties. Giving yourself scheduled time off accomplishes two things. First, it gives you time to refresh and recharge. Second, it gives your parent time to lead their busy life and accomplish their own daily goals. A little time away can benefit you both.
Make End-of-Life Plans
Uncomfortable though it may be, it’s crucial to have clear end-of-life plans in place for your parent. Meet with a lawyer to discuss your parent’s will, powers of attorney, and other estate planning tools. Should you assume power of attorney, make sure that you know what your parent’s wishes are so that you can make good on them.
Find a Retirement Community
For many seniors, aging at home is lonely. These people often flourish after moving into a retirement community where they can spend their days with like-minded seniors and keep busy with various activities. The right retirement community will still allow your parent to maintain their independence, so they can get the best of both worlds and you can get the peace of mind that you deserve.
While caring for an aging loved one is never easy, putting this advice for caregivers to good use should make the process run more smoothly. Get started today to ensure the best outcomes for you and your parent.
Are you looking for an assisted living community in Tennessee? If so, be sure to check out Hearthside Senior Living Place, located in Bartlett, Tennessee. We would be happy to schedule a tour for you so that you can explore the community, meet some of the residents, and ask any questions you might have. For more information, please call 901-854-6590. We look forward to meeting you!