How to Care for an Elderly Parent: 8 Tips to Create More Peace of Mind as They Age

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As adult children, it can be challenging to know how to care for an elderly parent, especially when you do not live with them or are located in another city.

If you are transitioning into the caregiver role for your aging Mom or Dad, you may be worried about their safety, well-being, and overall happiness. With this can come feelings of overwhelm, stress, and at times, guilt. 

Throughout the day, you may wonder, are they doing okay? Do they need help? Are they lonely? 

If this is feeling close to home, then first off, take a breath. And realize you are not alone. 

Many people around the globe are experiencing the ups and downs of caring for aging parents. 

Take our CEO, Cathy Thorpe; she went through this same difficult process but found solace when she started communicating and asking for help. 

 

As a family caregiver for aging parents, you’re constantly worried about how to give the best possible care to the ones you love most. Therefore, we wanted to help by listing the top eight ways to create more peace of mind as you care for your aging parent (even from afar).

1. Schedule Frequent Visits With Your Elderly Parents

As parents age, it can be difficult to know when they may require more help, especially if you are busy tending to your life’s responsibilities. You schedule visits with them and plan activities, but life happens, and visits can get delayed or rescheduled. 

However, when you have an elderly parent, spending quality time with them becomes even more important, especially to understand where they may be experiencing difficulties keeping up with their own care and responsibilities.

To mitigate this, try to schedule recurring visits depending on how far away you live and the level of care they need. If you’re in the same city, aim to see them a few times a month. Make it part of their routine. 

Schedule a meeting on the same day every week so that it’s easy for them (and you) to remember and less likely to need to reschedule.

taking care of an elderly parent
 

During your visit, it’s a great time to help Mom or Dad clean the house, organize belongings and medications, and keep them company. Play board or card games, watch movies, go for walks, get out into the community, or do whatever you can to keep their minds sharp and bodies as active as possible. 

If you can’t visit, sometimes a token of appreciation in the form of a letter or gift shows you really care. Did you know that feeling loved can result in better health? 

Chronic loneliness and depression can result in high blood pressure, a weaker immune system, and increased cortisol (a stress hormone), which can pressure an aging person’s body. 

Let Mom or Dad know you’re thinking about them by sending small tokens of appreciation with handwritten letters, flowers, and other gifts. It might make a world of difference!

2. Utilize Technology to Stay Connected With Your Parents

As adult children caring for aging parents can be challenging when you don’t live in the same place. But luckily, in this day and age, communication tools are even more at our fingertips. 

Call Mom or Dad regularly, send them informative emails (even if they’re just small updates), and set up video chats whenever possible. 

Communication is a top priority when caring for your elderly parents. It will help you understand their needs and wishes while strengthening your bond with one another. 

If they aren’t tech-savvy, a great way to bond with your aging parent is to teach them how to use tools like Zoom or Facetime the next time you visit—or have someone else walk them through it and leave instructions if necessary.

Schedule group video calls with other family members as well. Get the whole family involved. Not only is it a great way to connect with everyone and stay on the same page with Mom and Dad’s care, but your parents will love it too!

Check out some technology trends that are great for seniors!

3. Create an Open Dialogue With Your Parents and Other Family Members

It can be hard to care for your Mom or Dad all by yourself. We recommend including other family members in the caregiving conversation. 

Keeping an open dialogue with everyone is critical to stay on the same page and ensures everyone is informed on your parent’s health issues and daily living support requirements. It will also give you peace of mind knowing that you’re not the only one looking out for them.

Also, keep an open dialogue with your parents. Ask your Mom or Dad directly what they need help with. 

Where are they struggling? 

What areas of their life getting harder for them? 

Or even, what are some things that would make them happier on a daily basis?

By creating an open dialogue directly with them, you’ll avoid assuming something that isn’t true or missing something important to them. No matter their age, every adult deserves a choice in life and the freedom to express their needs and wants. 

Even as adult children caregivers, complicated family dynamics and conflicts can arise among siblings when discussing an elderly parent’s health care. We recommend getting an expert involved to help resolve any conflicts or confusion. 

4. Review Your Aging Parents’ Financial Plan

Not only are you helping your parents stay healthy, but as the one caring for your parents, it may fall to you to assist your parents with their financial plan to ensure good financial health into the future.

Spend time with them to review their monthly budget and expenses or consult a financial advisor for help if this step feels daunting.

Keep an open conversation with your parents, especially when it comes to their finances. It can be tricky to discuss these topics, but it is essential for their future health and well-being.

Find ways to reduce their expenses, save for emergencies, and budget accordingly. This will give you peace of mind knowing that your parents are living within their means, setting realistic budgets, and spending accordingly.

5. Take Care of Your Own Self-Care

Do you recall the airplane rule of thumb: “put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others?”. Only when we help ourselves first can we effectively help others. 

Self-care and your own health and well-being are one of the most important—and often forgotten—things you can do as a caregiver. When your personal needs, including your own physical and mental health, are taken care of, your aging parent will benefit, too.

“without conscious attention to self-care, caregivers’ effectiveness and ultimately a caregiver’s health will suffer.”

Research has shown that “without conscious attention to self-care, caregivers’ effectiveness and ultimately a caregiver’s health will suffer.”

In order to be a better caregiver, you must care for yourself first. Be alert for signs of stress so you can take a step back when necessary. If you find the caregiving load too much to handle on your own, it may be time to seek out alternative resources like caregiver support groups or additional help.

Self-care is different for everyone. It could mean going out into nature, meeting up with friends, taking care of your hygiene and your own health, or finding ways to relax.

assisting your aging parents 
 

Whatever it may be, self-care and your personal well-being should be your priority when you are the caregiver for your aging parents.

6. Ensure Proper Safety Precautions are Made

“Safety first” might be the source of peace of mind when it comes to your elderly parents. 

Limiting the hazards in the home is key to reducing the number of falls, trips, breaks, injuries, and accidents.

You can start by scanning your parents’ home for possible tripping and falling hazards. Go through room by room and ensure there are safety railings in place, anti-slip mats in bathrooms and showers, improved lighting, and ramps if necessary.

Creating an emergency response plan can also be a great starting point for improving the safety of your parents when they live independently.

Still not sure how to implement the proper safety precautions? 

Get an expert opinion from a Nurse Next Door Care Designer to help create a safety plan in the home. You can also learn more about what personal care services, including long-term care services, Nurse Next Door can provide to give you that additional peace of mind.

Check out the range of services Nurse Next Door can support Mom or Dad with to give you peace of mind.

Call us toll free at +1(877) 588-8609!

7. Decide on the Best Living Situation

It can be challenging to decide the best living situation may be for your elderly parent. Keep the dialogue open to ensure their wants, needs, and feelings are at the forefront when assisting them with this decision.

As a family caregiver, keep the whole family in the loop, especially if you’re considering moving Mom or Dad to a nursing home, long-term care, independent living, or remaining in their own home. There are a number of choices you can make when helping your parents prepare for their long-term care.

Here are some factors to consider when deciding the best living situation may be for your parents:

  • The level of care they need
  • Budget and finances
  • How much family caregiving you or other members of the family can provide
  • Safety and enjoyability of their living arrangement
  • Access to medical care, care services, and community services
  • Community and lifestyle
  • Proximity to family and friends

These factors can all contribute to deciding where your parents should live as they age. 

Living arrangements may also change with time as their health changes. Having an open mind and an open heart in these circumstances will help you, your elderly parents, and your family make the best possible decision.

Caregiver assisting a senior

8. Hire a Caregiver for Your Elderly Parents

Many people don’t live close to their parents or cannot care for them daily. If this is your situation, don’t beat yourself. There are more options than you think when it comes to providing the right care for your Mom or Dad. 

Hiring a caregiver from your local area agency (like Nurse Next Door) can be a good option for you—especially if they want to age comfortably at home. 

At Nurse Next Door, we provide caregiver support 24/7. Our caregivers can come in as often as needed, providing daily living and physical support, including: 

  • Help with daily chores
  • Grocery shopping 
  • Personal hygiene 
  • Navigating Alzheimer’s and dementia
  • Or mental support like daily reminders and companionship 

Nurse Next Door will help you plan for long-term care and help your parents live their best lives as they age. 

It’s perfectly normal to worry about your elderly parents. But there are many ways you can continue to care for them, no matter where they live.

Mom or Dad might have different needs, whether it’s simply getting a little help around the house to tidy up and have someone to play cards with or needing some assistance with medication reminders and more. Choosing the right caregiver can make a world of difference not only in your loved one’s life but in yours as well. 

Having additional support will allow you to focus on enjoying time together with your parents instead of focusing on caregiving tasks. 

Having a trustworthy, bonded, licensed, and insured caregiver may be the key to bringing you the peace of mind you need.

There are so many great ways to ease your mind when it comes to caring for your loved ones.

Call us toll-free anytime, 24/7, at 1-877-588-8609 for expert advice or caregiving support.


Take a look at what Nurse Next Door’s clients and their family members have to say:

“I have only had the Nurse Next Door for two weeks. I met Maria, Courtney, and Kristen. They are three fantastic nurses. They are prompt, courteous, and very friendly. I can’t say enough good things about these three ladies. They have been a very big help in setting up my machine every morning. Thank you ever so much for all you do.”Janet

“We have been receiving service for my mom from Nurse Next Door and couldn’t be any happier. We have never felt any safer than now since we know she is in good hands. This team feels like family.”Kamelia

Check out the range of services Nurse Next Door can support Mom or Dad with to give you peace of mind.

Call us toll free at +1(877) 588-8609!

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