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Top considerations for caregivers of aging parents

Family walks arm in arm

Caring for aging parents can be quite challenging in some ways. Not only can it be emotionally draining, but it can also present specific financial challenges. There are several options you should consider before taking any action.

Before making any plans, you must realistically assess the physical and psychological condition of your parents. In some cases, it can be helpful to discuss this with your parent’s physician or another healthcare worker.

People have differing needs as they advance in age, as some can live quite independently while others need substantial care. You also have to consider your financial situation and see what options are realistic. Some of the options you may want to consider include:

• Becoming a Caregiver Yourself -- Caring for aging parents is difficult if you have your career or family responsibilities. People should think carefully before taking on such a challenging role. You should be especially cautious about quitting a job to do this. On the other hand, if your parent or parents only need part-time care, you may be able to provide this and still keep your job.

• In-Home Services -- If your parents are under the age of 65, they may be eligible for community care services. That provides people with disabilities essential support for several hours per week.

• Hiring a Caregiver -- Another option is to hire a part-time or full-time caregiver. A qualified person can make your life a great deal easier, whether your parents live with you or on their own. It’s important to choose someone who is a good match for the needs of your parent. You also have to calculate whether or not this fits your budget.

• Aged Care Homes -- Retirement homes, nursing homes, or communities for older adults are possibilities for parents who need full-time care that you or other family members are not able to provide. Assessment teams must be consulted to determine if a person is eligible to enter an aged care home.

Finding the Right Solution to Care For Your Parents

It’s never easy to decide how to best care for aging parents. Providing older adults with the care, they need often involves either a financial sacrifice or devoting your own time by becoming a caregiver. Whatever choice you make, you should always discuss it with everyone whose life is impacted, such as your spouse and siblings.

Finding the right situation for your aging parents compels you to choose among several less than ideal alternatives. At some point, however, most people have to contend with the reality that their parents are no longer self-sufficient. Your objective is to find the solution that works best for both you and your parents.

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