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5 Issues to Address When Caring for the Aging Parent

5 Issues to Address When Caring for the Aging Parent

As adult children caregivers, there are 5 issues to address when caring for the aging parent.


5 Types of Issues to Address When Caring for the Aging Parent


This will help us maintain some semblance of balance in our own lives.


Caring for aging parents is a role many adult children can be both a blessing and an emotionally draining experience.


1. Health and safety concerns


Health and safety concerns are one of the most important issues to consider when caring for aging parents.


Aging parents run the risk of developing falls, infections, chronic illnesses, and other medical problems increases.


Professional geriatric care professionals such as geriatric care managers and aging life care professionals are available to provide the support and guidance.


5 Issues to Address When Caring for the Aging Parent


Caregiving responsibilities include keeping an up-to-date list of current medications with instructions on how they should be taken (dosage levels, frequency).


Make sure your elderly parents attend scheduled medical appointments and have their annual flu shots and regular nutrition assessments.


Family caregivers should know of any special dietary needs resulting from changes in taste sensation or digestive capabilities.


These are indications that aging parents may require nutritional supplements or fortified foods.


Home Safety


You’ll also want to ensure that your parent are safe in their own home.


Make sure that the floors are free from tripping hazards like rugs or cords.


Check for broken glass or debris that could cause cuts or abrasions if stepped on.


5 Issues to Address When Caring for the Aging Parent


Keep stairs clear of clutter, and remove any objects from the bathroom.


These can cause a fall in the shower or bath.


Install handrails in hallways and staircases.


They add stability when walking around the house.


Keep fire extinguishers readily available and test smoke detectors regularly for optimal safety.


Consider installing security systems or cameras to monitor the home while you’re away at work or on vacation.


Taking these precautions can help prevent injuries and make living at home safer for your aging parents.


Mental health and wellbeing


It’s also important for adult children caring for aging parents to monitor their mental health.


Use regular check-ins with a doctor.


5 Issues to Address When Caring for the Aging Parent


Be aware of cognitive issues such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.


They may require specialized services and treatment plans.


Ensuring a safe home environment and attending to mental health needs will help promote the overall wellbeing of our aging parents.


Look out for any signs of depression or anxiety that can come with aging.


Depression is especially common among older people who may have physical limitations due to age or illness.


They also lack social support systems other seniors enjoy.


Regularly check for signs of depression.


These can affect

judgement leading to

poor general 

health outcomes.


They show up as malnutrition or medication misuse.


Help your parent stay socially connected.


It can help alleviate depression by providing companionship and meaningful activities.


Preventing caregiver burnout


Remember, we must also make our own health a priority.


Our own health issues can affect the family dynamics and cause tension between family members.


5 Issues to Address When Caring for the Aging Parent


It’s easy for caregivers to become overwhelmed by our responsibilities.


It pays to take time away from caregiving duties to rest and recharge.


Seek help from other family members or professional geriatric care managers to provide assistance.


Practise respite activities such as yoga or meditation to support your overall health.


These activities can help caregivers stay mentally strong while providing quality care for their elderly parents.


With professional help, family members can rest assured knowing their elderly loved ones are monitored and receive the best possible quality of care.


2. Financial issues


Finance is a major issue to address when caring for an aging parent.


5 Issues to Address When Caring for the Aging Parent


Your parents’ finances must be managed properly and responsibly.


Read here about the 7 best ways to help manage aging parents finances.


As people age, they often experience declining income and increased expenses that can quickly become overwhelming.


This can make it difficult to afford daily living costs such as food, housing, medical care, and other necessities.


The cost of long-term care services such as home health aides and nursing home care may be expensive.


See below suggestion that can help with the financial costs.


Financial planning


It is important to plan financially and develop a budget.


You need to factor in both regular expenses and any potential unforeseen costs that might arise.


This means fully understanding the total income available (including investments).


As well, it is important to know about any outstanding debts or other liabilities.


It’s critical to find access to other financial resources, such as consulting agencies and investment advisors.


This can help in establishing long-term solutions that are tailored to individual families and their particular needs.


With smart planning, adult caregivers can prepare for economic challenges ahead.


This will also help with  getting balance in their own lives as well.


Long-term care insurance


Opportunities such as long-term care insurance can help provide financial buffers.


It offers protection against greater medical costs later on.


There are many private insurance plans geared towards elderly individuals.


These may cover some of the cost of long-term care services.


Government resources


Medicare and Medicaid are two government programs that assist with healthcare costs associated with aging.


Depending on your parent’s financial situation, they may also qualify for programs like:


-Supplemental Security Income (SSI), 


-Food Stamps, 


-Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), or even


-veterans benefits.


Veterans Directed Home and Community Based Services


These programs are sometimes referred to as VD-HCBS.


This program is available to veterans currently enrolled into VA medical care who need nursing home level care.


Veterans Directed Healthcare provides veterans with choices about the care provider based upon their needs and their circumstances.


Veterans that need care are required by the VA to be assisted.


It allows veterans the option to hire their own family members and their adult children as their personal service providers.


Parents of older children pay hourly rates.


Power of attorney


It’s also important to consider legal issues when caring for an aging parent such as setting up a power of attorney or creating a will or trust.


With a power of attorney, you can legally act on behalf of your parent in the event they become incapacitated.


Caregivers should also review legal documents such as wills, trusts and power of attorney forms.


Make sure they are up-to-date in case of an emergency.


Doing this research before any crisis arises.


It will facilitate smoother decision-making down the road when more pressing matters require attention and action.


Estate planning


Adult children must also be mindful of estate planning issues such as wills and trusts.


They can help ease a parent’s financial burden in the event of death or incapacity.


5 Issues to Address When Caring for the Aging Parent


It’s important to stay abreast of the most recent developments in elder law.


It ensures that you can make sure your parents’ rights and assets are protected.


Creating a will or trust ensures that your parent’s assets are distributed according to their wishes after they die.


This will avoid their financial matters being subject to probate court rules which could take months or even years before being settled.


Elder law attorney


Don’t be afraid to seek professional help from resources like elder law attorneys or certified financial planners who specialize in elder issues.


They can provide invaluable guidance in navigating the complexities involved with managing finances while providing compassionate caregiving.


3. Housing and living arrangements


Housing and living arrangements are a major concern for those caring for elderly parents.


For many seniors, remaining in their own homes may still be the best option.


Here are 7 tips for caring for elderly parents at home.


It’s important to ensure that their home is safe and suitable for independent functioning.


This may involve making changes such as adding wheelchair ramps or handrails.


Other changes include installing safety features such as non-slip flooring or grab bars in the bathroom.


If the current one has stairs or obstacles that make it difficult for an elderly person to move around it may even mean finding a new home.


Not all elderly individuals have family members who can or are willing to help.


Here are some tips when siblings don’t help with aging parents.


Getting resources such as geriatric care managers and social workers may be necessary.


Assisted Living Facilities


Assisted living facilities can offer a safe and supportive environment with on-site care and services such as:


-meal preparation,


-housekeeping, and


-personal care assistance.


If they can still take care of most of their needs on their own with some assistance, then a retirement community that offers supportive services would be ideal.


Retirement communities provide engaging activities that stimulate mental well-being such as puzzles or arts and crafts.


Importantly, they provide meaningful social opportunities with other seniors.


Nursing Homes


Nursing homes are another option for those requiring 24-hour medical care.


5 Issues to Address When Caring for the Aging Parent


Transportation may also need to be organized if the elderly person is not able to drive or use public transit.


Caregivers must consider all possibilities when making decisions about housing.


This ensures that their aging parents have access to the best care and safety possible.


Remember to consider your parent’s financial resources.


This will guide decisions on whether they can afford any of these options.


Explore if they qualify for subsidies or other forms of assistance.


It’s also essential that the elderly person has input into his or her housing decision.


You care that it meets both their practical and emotional needs.


Aim to create an environment where they feel emotionally supported and secure.


This means having regular visits from family members or friends.


Decorate their new home with warm colors and comfortable furnishings.


This will help get them settled into their new residence.


Where possible, set up technology for virtual conversations with loved ones via Facetime on an iPad.


Check out 7 best apps for caregivers and

seniors 2023 here.


Family members should look into local support groups or other resources that can provide additional guidance on elder care.


4. Transportation needs


Transportation needs are a key issue to address when caring for an aging parent, as it can have a major impact on their quality of life.


Reliable transportation services lets the elderly make important medical appointments or engage in recreational activities outside of their homes.


Not only do medical appointments need to be attended regularly, but health issues can arise suddenly requiring urgent emergency care.


Depending on the level of independence and mobility your parents have, there may be multiple options available when it comes to transportation.


Public vs private transport vs ride share


In urban areas, public transportation options such as buses and trains can provide access to vital services, along with the ability to visit friends or family.


Rural or suburban residents may need specialized services that offer door-to-door service or transport multiple passengers at once.


When researching local transportation solutions, consider costs and availability.


Public transit usually has lower fares than private companies.


The downside is that this needs more time and physical effort due to route changes and transfers.


Ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft are becoming increasingly popular choices for seniors who need a ride within their city limits.


This will avoid the hassle of taking public transit.


Private companies often offer more convenience at higher rates.


Government subsidized programs


If your parent cannot drive themselves due to age or medical conditions, look into subsidized programs through your state Medicaid.


Programs such as non-emergency medical transport (NEMT), provide rides for trips related to healthcare.


It is also important to make sure your parent feels comfortable and safe while they are out and about.


Ask questions about the requirements drivers need to qualify for the service you are considering.


Do they conduct criminal background checks?


Are there driver’s license requirements?


Many services also assist with things like loading wheelchairs onto the vehicle and helping passengers get in/out of vehicles safely.


Pro tip

It pays to establish relationships with reliable transportation providers.


They can be called upon during unexpected situations like illness that requires last-minute doctor visits.


5 Issues to Address When Caring for the Aging Parent


Having these trusted resources on hand will give both you and your aging parent peace of mind when they travel outside the home for any reason.


Where elderly parents have cognitive impairments such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, it may be necessary for family caregivers to take away driving privileges completely.


This is to keep every road user safe.


5. Emotional support


When caring for aging parents, one of the most important issues to address is emotional support.


This can be a very difficult time for both the caregiver and the elderly parent.


5 Issues to Address When Caring for the Aging Parent


Adult children caregivers


For the caregiver may be dealing with feelings of anxiety or grief over the physical and mental changes in their loved one.


It’s also dealing with feelings of being overwhelmed with new responsibilities.


Elderly parents


For the elderly parent, there may be feelings of confusion, fear and vulnerability.


Caregivers are there to provide emotional support to help them manage these intense emotions.


Emotional support can be providing reassurance through active listening.


It can be finding ways to make them feel comfortable in their surroundings.


This helps the aging parents maintain some sense of control over their life.


It is also important that you take care of yourself while providing this emotional support.


Caring for aging parents can be both rewarding and daunting.


Caregiver support groups


Having access to emotional resources such as:


-counseling services,


support groups for caregivers


-hotlines, and 


-online forums 

provides much needed relief during times of distress.


This lets you, the caregiver to continue providing quality care without sacrificing your mental health in the process