Taking care of an aging parent over a period of time – especially while simultaneously juggling work and other family obligations – can be physically and mentally exhausting. But help and resources are available.
To help you determine and prioritize the kinds of help you need, a good first step is to make a list of everything you do as a caregiver, big and small. Note the amount of time each task takes every day, week and/or month. Identify the times when you need help the most and which tasks others might be able to do for you, like making lunch for your senior loved one when you’re at work.
Then list the types of care needed, such as simple companionship or doing active chores, like food shopping. Once you determine this, here are some tips and places you can reach out to for help.
Home Care Services
Senior home care services from Interim HealthCare can augment the care you provide for your loved one. In many instances, senior home care services prevent Mom or Dad from requiring a move into senior living facilities. This can have a dramatic impact on your costs, as well as your loved one’s happiness.
Senior home care services can provide everything from companionship and help around the house, to meal preparation, medication assistance and more. Costs vary depending on your location, the amount of care needed, and the type of care being provided.
Other family members may be able to provide some help to you as well. If you have siblings or other loved ones close by, schedule a family meeting, in person or digitally, to discuss how they can help. Friends and neighbors may also be able to provide assistance.
Many communities offer a range of free or subsidized services that help seniors and caregivers with basic needs such as home delivered meals, transportation, senior companion services and respite services, which offers short-term care so you can take an occasional break. Call your Area Agency on Aging (call 800-677-1116 for contact information) for referrals to services available in your community.
If you are handling your mom’s financial chores, make things easier by arranging for direct deposit for her income sources, and set up automatic payments for her utilities and other routine bills. You may also want to set up your mom’s online banking service, so you can pay bills and monitor her account anytime. Or, if you need help, hire a daily money manager to do it for you. They typically charge between $25 and $100 per hour.
BenefitsCheckup.org is another excellent resource to look for financial assistance programs that may help your loved ones, particularly if they are on a fixed income.
Affordable technologies can help you keep tabs on your senior loved ones when you are away at work (or if they live alone).
Medical alert systems provide a wearable “help button” that empower seniors to call for help in an emergency. There are many options available by conducting a simple online search. Be sure to check online reviews to find the best option for your loved one.
You could also install a video-monitoring camera that lets you check in on your loved ones at any time with your smartphone or computer. These cameras have built-in motion and sound detection that will let you know when something is detected, and two-way audio that will let you talk and listen.
If you have questions about Medicare, Medicaid or long-term care, your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) offers free counseling and advice on these issues. Call 877-839-2675 or visit ShiptaCenter.org to locate a nearby counselor. You can also get help through the Medicare Rights Center, which staffs a help-line at 800-333-4114.
Home care services give you peace of mind while keeping your aging parents safe.
Senior personal care and support services from Interim HealthCare can alleviate the stress and burdens associated with caring for an aging parent and trying to manage your own family. We understand the stresses placed on family caregivers, and we are here to help augment your compassionate care. To learn more, contact your nearest Interim HealthCare location.