Essential tips for taking care of loved ones as they age
By Liza Kaufman Hogan for Next Avenue
If you are taking care of a loved one, you know that your challenges change as their health changes. You may also be anticipating your own needs for care as you grow older. Here are some tips to help you get prepared:
What to Know By:
You may already be involved in caregiving for a spouse or parent. We want to provide care out of love and loyalty, but practical matters arise quickly and come to the fore.
You’ve probably heard about what caregiving costs
and pondered whether you will need to or be able to help your parents financially. Here are a few more things you may want to know about caregiving by the time you are 50.
1. Have the difficult conversations. How do your parents want to live
as they become more frail, and what plan do they have to make that happen? Finding out is key to your ability to help them.
mom or dad? Should workplaces better support caregivers?
3. Provide support. Know how much care costs, and also consider other kinds of support.
Think about housing, emotional support and companionship.
1. Consider new ways of living. Knowing what your parents went through can provide
motivation for planning ahead for how you want to live, whether that’s aging in place or finding
like-minded people with whom to form a community.
2. Care for yourself. Caregivers need support, too. It’s critical to find ways to take breaks and
rejuvenate, especially in situations where you’ve been a caregiver for a long period of time.
happen and keep a watchful eye out for problems.
1. Have another conversation. This time, with your own children or those who will provide
care for you in your older years. Think of the relief you felt when your parents expressed their
2. Learn from elders. The number of centenarians is growing, and if your parents are among
them, take lessons from the longest-lived among us.
3. Use your resources. Find support to ensure your parents have dignity and independence.
Use what you’ve learned from caring for them as you make choices about your own situation
in the coming decades.
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