7 Steps to Take When Ageing Parents Need Help
- Understanding Their Needs
The first step in helping ageing parents is to understand their needs. This may involve talking to them about their health, living situation, and any challenges they may be facing. It's important to understand their perspectives and what they need in order to make informed decisions about their care.
2. Clarify Your Expectations
It's crucial for you both to discuss your limits and expectations for how this relationship will function before taking on the role of your parent's carer. Since there will be a significant shift in both of your lives, this procedure has two parts.
Try to view your parent's changing circumstances with utmost compassion and have patience. Recognise that your parents are not the same as they once were, and that it is difficult for you both to accept this. Assure them that you are on their side and merely intervening to provide for their needs rather than attempting to impose your own agenda.
It's crucial for you to understand your parents' care objectives. If you haven't already, talk to your parents about things like who they want to be their power of attorney if they become unable to make choices for themselves. These discussions can be challenging, but your parents have likely given it a lot of consideration. You may both want to consult social workers or medical professionals also.
They can be informed about your comfort levels and limitations as a carer, which is another way in which to establish expectations. For instance, you feel at ease assisting them about the house, preparing meals, etc., but if medical care is involved, you would like to arrange in-home care for them. Researching and comprehending the several facets of a carer's duties, though, is an important aspect of knowing what you're willing to do and not do.
3. Researching Available Options
It's time to start looking at your possibilities after you have a clearer idea of your parents' requirements. This might include looking at in-home care, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and / or systems to decide which choice is best for your parents' requirements, weighing the advantages and disadvantages of each.
4. Understand Your Financial Status
No matter what, providing care for an elderly person will be expensive. Estimating future costs will help you plan effectively.
Consider the expected medical expenses they'll need, the cost of their possible living arrangements (such as assisted living versus moving in with you), and regular expenses like meals, caregiving supplies, home safety adjustments, etc.
Knowing their financial situation can help you determine if they can afford the treatment they require or whether you need to provide financial assistance.
5. Verify The Validity Of Their Legal Papers
It might be wise to check your parents' end-of-life paperwork at this time and make sure you are aware of their whereabouts. A living will, financial power of attorney, and healthcare power of attorney are examples of estate planning papers. Some of these papers might need to be made or changed if their health suddenly changes, especially if you require access to their accounts.
A financial power of attorney appoints a representative to manage their finances in the event of incapacity. A healthcare power of attorney appoints someone to make medical decisions on their behalf if they are unable to do so.
Offer to put your parent(s) in touch with an estate law professional who can draft these documents if your parents don't already have them.
6. Talking to Your Parents About Their Options
Once you have gathered information on the available options, it's time to have a conversation with your parents about their preferences. This can be a sensitive topic, so it's important to approach the conversation with empathy and respect for their opinions. Listen to their concerns and answer any questions they may have about the options you've researched.
7. Making Decisions Together
It's crucial to reach decisions with your parents after analysing the available options. This may entail taking into account the prices, services provided, and accessibility of various facilities, as well as any unique requirements your parents might have. To guarantee the best outcome for your parents, take your time and thoroughly weigh up all of the options available to them.
With thanks to Lilly Partin, guest writer at UKCIL.com