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You do everything you can for your parents, but sometimes there just isn’t enough time to care for them the way you wish you could. While quitting your job and caring for them full-time would be the ideal solution, it isn’t feasible for most. If you live far away from your aging parents or have demanding work responsibilities, here are four ways you can help care for them.
Consider alternative living situations
There comes a time when maintaining a two-story home with a big yard just isn’t as easy for your parents anymore. If the home has lots of stairs, you may worry that they’ll fall and break a bone. Shoveling in winters and mowing lawns in summers also become difficult tasks when mobility declines.
If living in their own home doesn’t make sense anymore and moving in with you isn’t an option, it may be time to start looking at care homes – but make sure your parents are ready for this change. If they’re still fairly independent, simply downsizing their current home may be the best scenario. Senior communities are a great choice, as not only is the yard taken care of, but there are additional socialization opportunities for community members as well.
Look for in-home service providers
Sometimes all your parents need is a little in-home support, whether it’s with cleaning, cooking, or medical appointments.
The number of cleaning service providers has increased in recent years, leading to greater competition and lower prices. If your parents are still capable of doing the regular sweeping and organizing, having a cleaning team come in once a month to help out with the deep cleaning will make a big difference.
There are also many cooking services for seniors, ranging from simply picking up groceries to fully preparing meals within the home. Traditional home care is also widely available. If you’re not able to drive them to their appointments, have physical therapy come to them instead.
Create a schedule with others
If you’re the oldest child, you may feel as though the responsibility falls on you to make sure your parents are looked after. Though everyone’s situation is different, try speaking with your siblings about dividing the care. If you all live far away, take turns going to visit your parents. Even simply scheduling out different days each week to give your parents a phone call can give you peace of mind that someone is checking in every day.
If you don’t have siblings, brainstorm other contacts who may be able to help with check-ins. Maybe your parents have a friendly neighbor who would be willing to assist, or friends that call each day. Exchange contact information with these individuals so they know who to notify if something happens.
Ask your parents about their needs
You’re trying to do it all for them – but do they really need it? Ask your parents what they truly need and make that your priority. Their needs will change depending on the time and the situation. Helping your parents during the pandemic will look different than helping them out during normal times. As long as they know you’re doing your best and they can comfortably come to you when they need assistance, you can rest easy knowing you’ve done all you can.