After a lifetime of caring for us, sometimes our parents need us to care for them.
Here are three tips for caring for an aging parent or a love one:
The first thing you need to consider with an aging parent is that the parent has all of his or her finances in order. That the living will is written, to know exactly what your father or mother want done in the case of emergencies. A Living Will, an Advance Directive, a Medical Power of Attorney are all valuable devices.
Once that hurdle is jumped you can then get on to the very important piece of making sure that your parent is in a familiar social environment, and a place were their dignity and independence will be respected for as long as possible.
One of the most important things to remember is that your parent is still a social being and still has feelings. Even when they can’t express exactly how they are feeling, it is important to be sure they are in a place where they get respect and dignity, where people talk to them; where people interact with them; where they actually have people who touch them; and hold them; and take them to other rooms and to social areas. So, they can see other people and be part of an all encompassing environment.
As a caregiver you can get really, really tired. It is very important that you take care of yourself. That means perhaps getting someone in to help you. It also might mean that sometimes some of the more intimate chores you want to hire somebody for. Because that preserves your relationship with the mother or father you remember before the illness struck.