Establishing a Caregiving Plan for an Elderly Parent

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • Feb. 22, 2017


In many families, the responsibility of caregiving falls on the adult children, whether they are serving as full-time caregivers or supervising the care given to their elderly parents. To some, caring for an aging parent is an easy decision; for others, it’s a more complicated process. Regardless of where you stand, it’s important to take a few things into consideration when evaluating and establishing a plan of care.

1. Assess how you feel about caregiving and be transparent with other relatives or people involved.

Whether you love the thought of caring for your parent or if you’re terrified of how this will impact your life, be sure to have honest conversations about these feelings with someone.

2. Don’t assume you know what type of care your parent wants or that he or she will agree with your plan.

It’s very important that you respect the desires of your parent as long as they are reasonable and safe. Take your parent’s judgment into consideration. Disability and old age don’t mean that your parent can no longer make decisions for him or herself; however, some disabilities such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease may impair your parent’s ability to make decisions. With many care options, it's ultimately a matter of finding the option that meets the needs, wants, and abilities of everyone involved.

3. Be open to suggestions from others, including your parent’s medical care team and other loved ones.

Your parent’s doctor and medical care team will be able to give you suggestions on what type of care is best for your parent based on his or her physical, mental, and emotional needs. Other siblings, relatives, and even friends who have elderly parents may also be able to share  insight with you.

4. Know where your family stands financially and make a budget.

Your parent’s disability or illness means you’ll most likely incur additional expenses for doctor’s visits, new medications, and mobility devices. If you’re moving your parent to your home, you may need to spend extra money to adapt your home and make it more accessible. It’s important to anticipate and determine the costs associated with caring for your parent.

5. Don’t try to do it all on your own; seek help.

This applies to both the decision-making process and the actual care. If you and your family have decided it’s best for you to stay at home and care for your parent,  that’s great — but don’t try to do it all on your own. We all need help, and caregiving is a big job that can become  heavy for anyone to carry on their own. Reach out to loved ones for help, even if just for a few hours. Connect with your community to learn about free day programs for the elderly.

6. Re-evaluate the plan if needed.

What works now may not work later. From time to time, evaluate how your parent’s care is going. If you feel that change is necessary, take some time to go through these steps and determine a new course of action. Remember, the goal is for your parent to have the best care that fits within your family’s financial means, time, and abilities.

Taken from Disability Campaign


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