An adult child often faces a hard decision on how best to ensure the safety of an elderly parent. Our parents took care of us as we grew up, but now the roles have reversed. So, what is the best approach to take in determining the required level of care planning for an elderly parent?
Unfortunately, there is no “best” answer to this question. The solution, instead, depends on the specific situations and needs of the elderly person. Proper planning is the best way to address the current and future needs of an elderly parent.
Five Questions to Answer When Developing a Care Plan for an Elderly Parent
- What is the elderly parent’s situation? Is she living in her own home or apartment? Also, what are her specific needs and capabilities, including her ability to drive or have access to transportation? Does she have medical conditions or a handicap that must be addressed?
- Is the elderly parent open or resistant to your help? It is critical to understand what impact your efforts to help will have. Strategies need to be developed that address any resistance expected or to maintain cooperation if she is accepting your help. It is important not to take anything for granted since an elderly parent’s attitude can change quickly.
- What is the financial status of your elderly parent? Does she have financial independence, or is she relying on you or other family members? Caregiving can become expensive depending on the level and amount of care required. If money is limited, much of the care may have to come from family members or friends. There are federal and other programs available to help pay for caregiving. It is best to think about these early in the caregiving process.
- What are the physical, emotional, and mental capabilities of your elderly parent? Elderly people require activities to remain healthy and engaged in life. These include reading, exercising, arts and crafts, and music, just to name a few. Any caregiving plan requires attention to the type of activities she will enjoy and perform consistently.
- What is your ability to provide direct care to the elderly parent? Examine your own ability to provide caregiving to an elderly parent. Do you live close to your parent which enables easier access? Also, do you work part- or full-time or have other family responsibilities? Adult children have a tendency to minimize their needs or capabilities when planning for the caregiving of an elderly parent. Do not fall into this trap; include your own situation and needs in the planning process.
Caring for an aging parent is one of the most important things an adult child does in her lifetime. The best way to be successful is targeted care planning for an elderly parent that takes into consideration the five questions addressed here. Future blogs will examine each question in more detail.
Also, if you want to arm yourself with the information needed to motivate an elderly parent or friend to remain active and exercise, take a look at this new e-book by clicking here.
Learn more about blog creator Steven Watson’s background related to helping elderly people remain active and safe by clicking here to access his Amazon Author’s Page.