Caring for an Older Parent: 5 Concerns That Should Be at the Forefront of Your Mind


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Looking after an older parent comes with numerous considerations and concerns. As we get older, we are put in a position where we feel a variety of conflicting emotions. Here are some of the practical challenges that you should consider when you are taking on this role. 

Putting Them in a Home or Not

Some people believe this is the best place for older parents because they have a wider range of care available, but there are others who don't want their parents to go into a nursing home because of the potential for nursing home abuse, which is a very natural concern. For anybody who's experienced some form of nursing home abuse, it's important to recognize there is support out there, like legal help. There are lawyers that work for a contingency fee, where they will only get paid if you get a favorable result, but to offset any of these concerns, you have to come to a conclusion with your parents that the nursing home is the best option. 

Helping Your Parents Stay Independent

If they don't want to go into a nursing home, you've got to decide together on the best course of action to help them stay independent. Many older people resist losing their independence, which could mean they end up putting others or themselves in danger because they can't manage everyday tasks. It's critical that we have honest conversations so we can understand their feelings about the care options available. You could come to a conclusion that they have part-time care, for example, a nursing assistant coming in and doing the basic house duties. This helps them achieve a certain level of independence and it allows you to have more peace of mind. 

The Health Issues

If a parent has health issues that cause aggression or behaving unpredictably, like age-related cognitive decline, this can be difficult to deal with. It's important for us to remember that this is not who they are because their behavior is beyond their control. But there are a number of strategies to cope with difficult behavior, and it's vital that we not take it to heart because this is not who they are. 

Understanding the Financial Implications

There will be an added cost to caring for your parents in terms of the nursing home fees or if you need to adapt your own home to look after them. It's important to ensure that everybody is financially supported which can be difficult to achieve. 

Looking After Yourself

Sometimes, we can feel that we just need to push on in order to be a more effective carer, and every birthday our parent celebrates means we slowly start to think about the inevitable conclusion at the end of it all, and this can have an impact on our mental health. If we are also looking after our own children, there is a lot to consider here as we need to realistically understand if we can look after the household and ourselves. Ensuring that you have the right support and self-care regimes can help you here.

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