Taking care of an aging parent at home may be one of the best things that you could do for them if you have the space and ability. To be able to do it well and ensure that the whole family emerges happy and fulfilled at the end, you should have an idea of some of the basics that the process entails. Read on to see four valuable tips that you can make use of to get the best out of the project and give your aging parent an amazing gift.
1. Ensure That the Home Is Accessible and Safe
To begin with, you need to make sure that the home is as safe as possible by eliminating any potential tripping hazards and other sources of danger. This includes removing cables and wires that may be in the way, removing throw rugs, and leveling thresholds or installing ramps over them. Find a safe and reliable method of disposing of waste, including dangerous items like syringes and needles if your aging parent uses them for health-related issues. This is something that you should take seriously, noting that failure to comply with the pharmaceutical regulations of hazardous waste can lead to being fined up to $37,5000 daily and per incident, according to Sharps Medical Waste Services. To improve accessibility, install grab bars and low-rise toilets, also keeping common spaces adequately lit.
2. Secure Financing
It’s important for you to understand that it takes money to take care of an aging parent. This makes it important for you to seek funding from the earliest point you can do so. You can start by checking if you’ll be eligible for Medicare’s financial assistance and look into various government grants. For instance, you may be interested to know that an individual has to be blind, disabled, or at least 65 years of age and also have limited income and resources so that they can qualify for SSI benefits. Another potential source of financial assistance you may get is checking to see if you’re eligible to get tax relief by claiming an elderly parent as a dependent.
3. Don’t Forget to Take Care of Yourself
While doing your best to take good care of your aging parent, it’s important that you try your best not to lose yourself. For instance, you shouldn’t forget to take care of your work, relationships, and even pets if you have some. That’s something that needs time and money as well, and in 2021, 45.3 million Americans owned dogs while 69 million of them owned cats, according to Pet Keen. Allow yourself time to live your life and do things that give you joy and fulfillment in life. This can help you maintain good mental health and avoid suffering from burnout and ending up unable to offer the necessary care in the first place.
4. Look For Help Early On
Finally, remember that there’s a lot involved in caring for an aging parent. This makes it a great idea for you to look for help early on so that you don’t run the risk of getting overwhelmed and stressed. Some of the help that you may want to look for includes transportation, meal preparation, and housework. By getting the help that you need, you’ll actually ensure that your parents can get a better standard of care than they need. You can also hire trained professionals from a home health agency if your parent has special needs.
These four tips should help make caring for an aging parent at home considerably more manageable. You’ll enjoy the benefits of spending a longer time with them, something that not everyone is lucky enough to experience. With a good plan, you can ensure the best possible outcome for both you and your aging parent.