Women’s series: Taking Care of an Aging Parent
I’m an only child so the responsibility of caring for my parents as they age is certain. They both have long term care policies so they will be able to get essential care in the home and/or outside the home, but the decisions for health care, monitoring of the health care being facilitated and finances will be my sole responsibility. My husband is also an only child so my in-laws’ care will be our responsibility as well.
I have and am currently working with women caring for their parents and some have the same responsibility I will have as my parents age, but others are full-time care-givers. How do you manage other aspects of your life caring for you parents? How do you make sure you’re providing care that allows your parents to age with dignity?
Taking care of a parent is not only just the medical issues; it’s also the finances, making sure they are in good spirits, visiting often, taking them to doctor appointments, monitoring the health care they are being provided, taking care of their pets and making sure your parents are in good financial standing after paying for the various expenses they are now responsible for. And, don’t forget paperwork for health insurance and possibly for Medicaid. This sounds like a full time job, but how can you provide for your family if you don’t work? And, how can you fund for your own retirement if you aren’t employed?
I am not an elder care professional, but do know of some great resources that I have reviewed and read in full that could be beneficial for your situation. When starting to care for a parent being prepared and having a support system is crucial. Having a game plan in place and seeking professional help can take some of the responsibility off of you and your family. There are two books that I think could be helpful.
If you are at the beginning stages or will soon be starting to care for an aging parent your first step is to start planning. A book I’ve run across that seems to have it all is called The Complete Elder Care Planner by Joy Loverde. This is not just a book it’s a reference guide to help a caregiver plan for their caregiving role. This book covers issues such as putting together an elder-care plan, emergency preparedness, gathering professionals, legal matters, housing and many other important topics when caring for a parent. There is even an index for important and useful organizations.
Another book that I’ve found helpful is called How to Say it to Seniors by David Solie. This book is great because it gives perspective of how seniors feel about their current state of life, how to be sensitive to what they are going through and how and how not to have tough conversations with them. This book explains that people want to maintain control and an adult child taking away their freedom is more than likely going to cause a struggle in the relationship. This book will help work around difficult conversation topics and to make sure it is not perceived that you are taking control away from your parents’ daily lives.
We have some useful links that may be helpful in your journey as a caregiver on our website: https://www.dominguezandjones.com
Caring for a parent while maintaining your normal life of caring for your own family can be difficult, but having the right resources at your fingertips and doing the research in the beginning stages can extremely helpful. If you have any questions about this topic please let me know and I’ll point you in the right direction.
Our next newsletter will start the Women’s Newsletter Series of Life Event planning with the first topic being: Marriage and Money
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Hatfield, Heather. Role Reversal: Caregiving for Aging Parents. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/features/role-reversal-caregiving-for-aging-parents.
Loverde, Joy. The Complete Eldercare Planner. Hyperion: Three Rivers Press, 2009. Print
Solie, David, M.S., P.A. How to Say it to Seniors. Prentice Hall Press. 2004. Print
Links are being provided for information purposes only. Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse, authorize or sponsor any of the listed websites or their respective sponsors. Raymond James is not responsible for the content of any website or the collection or use of information regarding any website’s users and/or members. Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse the opinions or services of Joy Loverde or David Solie. The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that it is accurate or complete, it is not a statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision, and it does not constitute a recommendation. Any opinions are those of Christina Jones and not necessarily those of Raymond James.
Additional information and resources for seniors and caregivers, can be found by using the Eldercare Locator at eldercare.gov, a public service of the U.S. Administration on Aging.