Advice For Caring For Your Aging Parent


After raising children and retiring from the workforce, elderly adults are often ready to settle into their golden years. While this stage can be relaxing, fun, and come with a new level of freedom, most will need some form of assistance. Like many others with aging parents, you might be wondering how to go about taking care of them.

Generally speaking, seniors like their independence, and it is not uncommon when an elderly person refuses help. They want to be able to do things on their own, without assistance, and on their own terms—which is completely understandable. However, health issues are all but inevitable with age, at which point, regular elder care is usually warranted.

According to a Pew Research Center survey, about a quarter of adults with a living parent over the age of 65 say they need help taking care of themselves and handling their affairs. Of course, this is only at a given time—those who don’t need assistance currently will likely require help down the road as they get older.

At Alliance Homecare, we are a compassionate team that understands how challenging it can be to figure out what’s best for an elderly parent. In addition to offering trusted home care in New York City, we’re committed to providing families with the information and guidance they need to make the best decisions for their loved ones. Along with exploring the benefits of home care, find tips and advice for caring for your aging parent below.

How to Care for an Aging Parent

It’s not uncommon for the responsibility of caring for an aging parent to coincide with a need to care for a teen or a younger child. In the U.S., about 30% of adults have a child under the age of 18 at home, and roughly 12% of these adults also provide care for an older parent. This can put a lot of pressure on multigenerational caregivers who provide an average of almost three hours of unpaid care each day.

The obligation to care for an ill, frail, mentally impaired or disabled parent can happen at any point in life, which is why it’s crucial to have a plan in place. Whether you’re in a live-in situation, simultaneously living with your children, or commuting to your loved one’s home, the following pointers can help you navigate caring for your aging parent.

 


Evaluat
e Their Personal Care Needs

First, you’ll want to assess their care needs thoroughly. Make a list of the activities that need to be done daily, weekly, and monthly, noting the frequency and time of day for each task. 

It can be helpful to break it up into categories, including basic activities of daily living, instrumental activities of daily living, and medical needs. This will paint a clear picture of the type of senior care and the level of senior care they need on an ongoing basis.

Basic Activities of Daily Living

You may have heard the term before, but what is ADL care, exactly? Basic activities of daily living (ADLs) are general everyday self-care tasks. ADL includes bathing, getting dressed, grooming, going to the bathroom, brushing teeth, taking medications, prepping food, and eating, as well as getting in and out of bed and up and down from chairs. As mobility, strength, and cognitive function decline, some aging adults need ADL care.

Instrumental Activities of Daily Living

Instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) vary from person to person. They’re more lifestyle-based and aren’t necessarily essential, and yet performing them allows an individual to live independently. IADLs include grocery shopping, purchasing necessities, paying bills, doing laundry, housekeeping, home maintenance, running errands, and communicating via phone, email, or text.

Medical Needs

Many aging adults require some form of medical care, though it’s not always on an ongoing, consistent basis. Medical needs may involve managing prescriptions, coordinating and attending doctor appointments, infusions, intravenous therapies, wound care, mechanical ventilation support, post-surgical recovery, catheter care, ostomies, hospice, chronic care, or pulmonary care.

Evaluate Your Capacity for Care

Once you’ve recorded your parent’s needs in detail, it’s time to assess your personal capacity to meet these needs as a caregiver. Are you able to take care of all the daily, weekly, and monthly tasks they can’t perform on their own without recruiting additional help? How long will you be able to keep up with the current level of care, and is it likely their needs will increase over time?

Suppose you’re unable to complete any of the essential tasks realistically. In that case, whether it’s due to a lack of time, physical strength, or other limitations—it’s crucial that you’re honest with both yourself and your parent about your limits as a primary caregiver.

The assistance you provide shouldn’t compromise your personal health or that of your own children and partner. Further, consider whether you’ll still be able to keep up with your own responsibilities, including your job, home maintenance, childcare, and other commitments.

Make a Care Plan

After assessing your capacity for caregiving, you can begin to create a plan. Be sure to consider all aspects of what caring for an aging adult entails, including the medical, financial, physical, and emotional components. At this point, it’s a good idea to review your options so that you can present them to your parent.

Consider Home Care

In-home care is one of the best options for aging parents in need of support. According to a poll by AARP (American Association of Retired Persons), almost 80% of adults over 50 want to remain in their homes for as long as possible as they get older. As such, many are reluctant to move, and it’s easy to see why. Getting care in your existing place of residence offers the undeniable benefits of familiarity and comfort.

Whether you live with your aging parents or visit them often, at-home assistance can be an excellent way to supplement the care you’re able to provide. In-home support can relieve stress for both you and your parent and may make them more open to accepting help. It’s also usually more affordable than nursing homes and assisted-living facilities.

In-home care for aging adults has many advantages, including:

  • Privacy and independence
  • One-on-one attention and personalized care
  • Mental and emotional benefits of a familiar living arrangement 
  • Faster recovery from surgery, injury, and illness
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Reduced anxiety and peace of mind

With this in mind, Alliance Homecare is dedicated to offering top-tier in home nurse care in New York City and the surrounding metro area. We work with individuals and their families to ensure that their living arrangement is safe, supportive, and comfortable for as long as possible.

Consider Respite Care

You love your elderly parent and may want to have a primary hand in caring for them. But it’s also important to be mindful of being spread too thin and what that may mean for your own health and personal commitments.

Another option to consider is respite care, which involves relief for you, the primary caregiver. You can arrange for help on a single occasion, several days in a row, or on an ongoing, regular basis. Aside from providing temporary relief and breaks from caregiving, respite care in New York can help you avoid caregiver burnout and resentment from taking on too much.

Alliance Homecare understands how demanding caregiving can be, both physically and mentally. It’s also time-consuming, which may make it difficult to tend to your own job, children, and household. If you have an upcoming trip, other commitments on the calendar, a demanding career, plans with other family members, personal care needs that require attention, or you just need a break, our respite care services are an excellent solution.

As the importance of companionship for elderly people should never go overlooked, our experienced and trusted staff will tend to your parent with compassion and friendliness. We create individualized care plans for each patient, which outline various activities, events, and outings to maintain their normal routine and find daily enjoyment of life. Under our care, you’ll have peace of mind leaving your loved one in their home, and we’ll do everything to ensure it’s a comfortable, positive experience for them.

At-Home Elderly Care in New York City

Caring for an aging parent isn’t easy, and accepting help isn’t easy either. Alliance Homecare in New York is here to put both your and your parent’s minds at ease. We can provide ongoing in-home nursing care for medical needs, ADL care for everyday tasks, or fill in the gaps with respite care.

Our extensive at-home care services are customized to meet your parent’s unique needs while allowing them to maintain their dignity and a level of independence. The Alliance Team will review all aspects of the clients’ needs with an in-home or virtual assessment. We provide a personalized care plan for the families’ and clients’ needs. 

Alliance Homecare is always striving to uphold The Grandma Rule℠, meaning our quality of elder care is up to par with the care we’d provide our own aging loved ones. For more information about our home care services in New York City, contact us today. 

 

External sources:

  1. https://www.aarp.org/caregiving/life-balance/info-2019/when-aging-parents-resist-help.html
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6157059/
  3. https://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2015/05/21/4-caring-for-aging-parents/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK396398/
  5. https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/11/29/more-than-one-in-ten-u-s-parents-are-also-caring-for-an-adult/
  6. https://www.aarp.org/research/topics/community/info-2018/2018-home-community-preference.html

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