An Introduction to Caring For Aging Parents

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As a child you have spent a lifetime being cared for by your parents. Now it’s time to devote the same care and attention to the well being of your aging parents. This transition is commonly referred to as role-reversal. Navigating this new dynamic can be tricky for everyone involved. However, with the right knowledge and resources though you will both thrive! Continue reading for some introductory tips on caring for your aging parents. We will start with a little investigation into the dynamics of this role-reversal.

Aging Parents and Role-Reversal
When you are growing up your parents teach you how to manage your finances, keep your home clean, and make sure there are groceries in the fridge. As your parents age their ability to stay on top of these day to day necessities changes. Your parent’s physical and mental capabilities are experiencing a transitory time. Over time, you may have noticed that you need to be more involved in your parent’s life: staying in touch, making sure they attend doctor’s appointments and are taking any necessary medication, as well as eating well and getting exercise. These topics of conversation will have left the realm of small talk and become one of your primary concerns. Attending to the emotional and physical needs of an aging parent can be taxing, especially if you do not live in the same city. At Your Service for Seniors makes it a priority to help seniors achieve a high quality of life.

Taking The Lead
For many of our clients, it was the child that initiated the service. From living in another city to working a demanding job, devoting enough time to your aging parents is not always possible. At Your Service for Seniors offers a wide variety of services from grocery shopping, to meal preparation, and light housekeeping that will improve your parent’s quality of life dramatically. For many seniors, asking for help can be hard. We provide services that increase the confidence and independence of our clients while promoting dignity and positive self esteem. Once a role-reversal has taken place, and you are looking out for your parent’s wellbeing sourcing the very best assistance and lifestyle activities is incredibly important.

Begin a Conversation
Navigating this role-reversal requires patience, and a bit of planning. One of the best ways to make this transition easier is to begin the conversation about aging earlier rather than later. Before your parents begin to see a drop off in mental and physical capabilities, talk about what their care will look like. Begin this conversation while your parent is still at a “functional” age. This may be anywhere from their 50s to their 60s. Discussing how they would like to see their care look like at a still highly functional stage in their life will provide clarity and guidelines for the later years. Putting some of their thoughts on paper, and keeping this in a safe place until it’s needed is always a good idea. Discuss with your parent(s) whether they would like to stay in their own home as long as possible, or move to an assisted living facility when the time comes.

It is also a good idea to speak amongst any siblings or other potential caregivers about who is comfortable taking on the responsibilities associated with caring for an aging parent. While this is a difficult conversation to have, it’s always better to have it sooner rather than later. Speaking with your parents about their finances both now and for the future should also be done during this stage. If necessary, visit with a financial planner to discuss options for achieving the very best quality of life possible.

What do Your Parents Need?
It’s so difficult to know where to start, what’s most important and where do you go for support? In many families the conversation and/or changes may not occur until there’s a ‘crisis’ like a fall or illness. To help initiate the process and to assist in identifying the areas of concern, At Your Service for Seniors has the wisdom of experts in gerontology on their side. Call and ask for your copy of the toolkit, “What Do My Parents Need?” or “The Working – Caregiver Balancing Act”. These are two of the six helpful how to guides we have for your use.

You Have Options with At Your Service for Seniors
With At Your Service for Seniors we provide both children and their aging parents with options tailored to each one of our unique clients. Our top priority is improving the life of our clients while providing peace of mind to their caring children and loved ones. From transportation and accompaniment to help checking email and making phone calls to friends and family, or simply picking up the mail and preparing meals. Our services can be tailored to suit the unique needs of your aging parent.

To learn more about our services, contact At Your Service for Seniors today!

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