5 Ways to Make Caregiving for Aging Parents Easier

smiling adult daughter stands next to her elderly mother

Caring for aging parents can be challenging, especially when you’re taking on the role of a caregiver. Becoming a caregiver impacts your relationship with your parent in many ways and also thrusts you into the new and often unfamiliar world of senior care. While it may not be possible to prepare for every scenario, there are some first steps to help make caregiving easier for yourself and be sure your parents receive the support they need.

1. Assess Their Needs

It can be highly overwhelming going from a more passive role to being a caregiver. Before making big decisions, first understand what your parents may need regarding their care and wellness support. Then define what your parents need to live healthily and happily while maintaining as much independence as possible. 

A good place to start is to assess critical areas, such as cognitive health, physical health, mobility, medications, and other daily living activities, such as cooking and cleaning. Of course, it helps to also talk to your parents about their concerns and where they believe they may need support. Once you understand what they’ll require daily or weekly, you can create a plan.

2. Get a Clear Healthcare Picture

One of the most critical aspects of helping care for aging parents is understanding their medical needs and advocating for them when necessary. This may mean taking a more active role in many aspects of their healthcare — from interactions with medical providers to dealing with insurance providers and billing. 

Joining them for medical appointments (or having another family member or other trusted person present), learning about any medical diagnoses and medications, and understanding healthcare coverage are ways to ensure your parents receive the proper care. 

3. Ensure Home is Safe and Accessible

Many older adults prefer to age in place at home. This doesn’t mean their living spaces can’t change — you’ll likely need to make some updates to be sure their home is easily accessible and maneuverable. 

Do a quick “audit” of the home to look for any stairs, tubs, or tricky areas that could inhibit your parents from getting around or even lead to a potential fall. It’s worth considering some minor upgrades to make your parents’ space more senior-friendly.

Equipping them with an emergency button for falls or accidents may give everyone extra peace of mind and give them access to quick help if they ever need it.

4. Simplify Family Communication & Connection

Aging parents may increasingly spend more time alone. Staying socially connected to loved ones will stave off feelings of isolation and loneliness. If family members don’t live close enough to visit regularly, there are virtual communication options that can help.

There are even some great solutions for older adults who struggle with technology or are resident to change.

For example, JubileeTV is a new TV-based video calling and communication system that uses the senior’s TV and a simple all-in-one voice remote. Using the JubileeTV App family members can video call, message, and even send photos and videos to your parents’ television so they can interact using familiar TV technology. 

Jubilee even makes assisting easier, as you can remotely control their TV from the JubileeTV App to help them change the channel or volume, put on a show, and even remind them of appointments. 

5. Take Care of Yourself

One of the biggest challenges of caregiving is the added strain it can place on you and ensuring that you don’t neglect yourself in the process. This means taking breaks when needed, practicing self-care, and ensuring that you are getting enough rest and exercise. 

Taking time to decompress and doing other activities you love is the best way to keep your mental and emotional health balanced so you can have enough energy to give to your parents. Caregiving can be a full-time job, and it is essential to remember that taking care of your own needs is just as important as taking care of your parents.

While there are many things to consider and prepare for when caring for your aging parents, it can be a rewarding experience that allows your parents to maintain their independence and comfort. With a care plan in place and a commitment to understanding their needs, you can ensure that your parents get the care they deserve.

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