Becoming a Caregiver for a Senior: What to Expect as a Family Caregiver

When a family member, particularly a parent, begins to age, it is very hard on both the parent, and the child. Our parents have been, for our whole life, the people we look up to as to how to live our lives. They gave us life, taught us how to make our way in the world, and are our examples for our own families. To see a once vibrant parent, begin to decline and begin to need assistance is hard for any child to handle. However, it is not easy for one’s parents either. They are used to being in control of their own lives, and in some ways, when a senior gets to an age where they begin to need help with daily living, it can feel like the roles have been reversed. The parent becomes more like the child, the child more of a parent.

Depending on how far your parents have declined, the level of care you will need to provide for them will vary. What follows is a list of some of the most common things that new caregivers must manage for their parents. This list is, by no means, exhaustive, but it touches on some of the most common areas of assistance parents need from their children as they age.

  • Transportation – Most often one of the first things that become difficult for seniors is driving. This can be as a result of a loss of eyesight or mobility. Whatever the case may be, chances are the senior in your life will need assistance getting to and from doctor’s appointments, shopping, and other errands.
  • Meal Planning/Shopping/Preparation - Many seniors have difficulties with meal planning and preparation. If one’s memory starts to go, seniors can begin to forget to prepare meals for themselves, leading to a loss in weight. Basic meal planning and making sure that your parents remember to eat, have food in the house, and are getting the proper nutrition that they need is very important.
  • Cleaning - Basic home cleaning is often another area that seniors need help with. As one’s mobility and energy begin to decline, simple tasks like house cleaning can become difficult, if not impossible, for the senior to manage.
  • Home Safety Upgrades - There are certain things in your parent’s homes that will probably need to be looked at in order to ensure the safety of the senior living at home. Simple things like non-slip rugs and bath mats, bars near the shower and toilet, and rearranging furniture so as to reduce the chances of a slip and fall.
  • Medical Care - You may need to help your parents follow the instructions for care provided to them by their doctors. This means making sure that they get to all doctor’s appointments, follow all treatment options provided, and take their medication as directed by their medical professionals.
  • Medication Management - It is common that seniors will become forgetful, which is why it is advised that you take over the medication management. Make sure that your parents take their medication as directed, and ensure that their prescriptions are always filled so they do not miss any doses.
  • Financial Management - It is likely that you will need to take over the financial affairs of your parents. This means having access to all their financial accounts, including their bills, so that you can ensure that their money is managed properly, and that their bills get paid on time. It is important that you have a clear understanding of your parent’s finances, as well as their financial obligations so as to ensure that they remain in good financial standing.

At Carefect Homecare Services, we understand that determining what exactly your parents’ needs, in terms of homecare, can be difficult. We understand that this is a big transition in both your and your parents’ lives. We seek to provide the best information, and the highest quality services to assist caregivers in whatever way possible. We offer varied, non-medical services, and can help to fill in the gaps in care that you might be faced with due to the obligations of your family and your everyday life. Contact us today for a free in-home assessment for your parents. We will come to your parent’s home and assess it for safety, as well as help come up with a specialized homecare plan that meets the specific needs of your parents.

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