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Taking Care of Mom: 7 Essential Steps to Achieve Success

Taking Care of Mom: 7 Essential Steps to Achieve Success

Taking care of mom is one of the most rewarding yet demanding roles you will ever take on.

Taking Care of Mom: 7 Essential Steps to Achieve Success

As adult children caregivers, it can be hard to know how best to provide for aging parents.

We want to keep them safe and making sure that their quality of life is as high as possible.

That’s why having a plan in place outlining all the major aspects of senior care is so vital.

It allows adult children caregivers to proactively address any potential health issues before they become unmanageable.

In this blog post, we’ll look at 7 essential steps every family caregiver should consider when taking care of elderly parents.

It is important to:

1) establish a care plan

2) review financial options

3) consider new living arrangements

4) get educated and get help from support groups

5) create a schedule for caregiver respite

6) stay up to date on legal matters

7) plan for their future

These tips will ensure you don’t miss out on anything critical during this journey together.

1. Establish a care plan

Before taking on the role of taking care of aging parents, it’s important to have an established plan in place.

This plan outlines what types of care and support they will need.

Taking Care of Mom: 7 Essential Steps to Achieve Success

This should include any necessary medical services, such as scheduling medical appointments and medication management necessary to maintain good health.

Also, consider the more practical tasks like helping with paying bills, grocery shopping and meal preparation.

Evaluate their needs

Every person’s circumstances are different, so it’s important to take the time to assess the needs of your aging parents before developing a plan of care.

Consider factors influencing the chances of independent senior living such as mobility and health issues or chronic illnesses.

If they have existing disabilities and mental health conditions, speak to social workers or professional geriatric care managers before taking action.

2. Review Financial Options

This is the important step to take when caring for elderly parents is to review all available financial options.

Taking Care of Mom: 7 Essential Steps to Achieve Success

The aim of elder care is to ensure that they are able to receive the best possible care without compromising their quality of life.

There may be government-sponsored programs (like Medicare) available, and long-term care insurance or private insurance policies designed specifically for elderly individuals.

They may need help managing their financial and retirement assets.

It is important to be involved actively in helping manage aging parents finances so that they have financial security during their senior years.

If you are the care provider, you may qualify for tax breaks for your dependent aging parents or be able to claim deductible medical expenses.

3. Living arrangements

There are three main living arrangements for elderly individuals are:

i. independent living, 

ii. assisted living and 

iii. nursing home care.

Each option provides its advantages and disadvantages depending on the needs of the elderly parents and caregiver.

A great starting point when selecting a living arrangement for elderly parents is to consider their individual needs such as:

i. medical condition(s)

ii. financial resources

iii. personal preferences and lifestyle choices

This ensures elderly parents receive the most appropriate level of care when needed most.

Ultimately the goal should always be maximizing their quality of life while ensuring that they feel secure and supported by family members.

i. Independent Living

The first option is for an elderly mom to stay in her own home.

This in home care arrangement allows independent functioning as possible while staying in familiar surroundings.

For this arrangement to work well, some in home safety modifications may be necessary. 

These include:

i. adding ramps or railings for safety

ii. installing extra lighting for low visibility areas like corridors

iii. making sure that any medical equipment is easily accessible.

Caregiving responsibilities include regular in home visits to ensure personal hygiene habits are maintained.

ii. Assisted Living

Assisted living community care providers will help with daily activities such as bathing and dressing, toilet hygiene, and other activities of daily living (ADLs).

Some services include taking care of medications and monitoring high blood pressure of the elderly parents.

Assisted living communities often include amenities such as fitness centres, libraries, recreation areas and transportation services.

Many assisted living communities also offer socialization opportunities through group activities and outings.

These activities can help prevent feelings of isolation.

iii. Nursing Home Care

Nursing homes provide 24-hour medical care in addition to assistance with ADLs and other basic needs.

Taking Care of Mom: 7 Essential Steps to Achieve Success

Nursing home residents are older adults and have more severe physical or mental impairment than those who live in assisted living facilities.

Here, specialized round-the-clock care and input from professional geriatric care managers is necessary.

Nursing homes usually offer rehabilitation services such as physical therapy and occupational therapy under the supervision of geriatric care managers.

These facilities also offer recreational programs tailored to residents’ interests and abilities.

On the downside, nursing homes are often more expensive than other senior housing options.

Factors that increase costs include intensive staffing requirements that result in fewer amenities offered to residents.

This can impact the overall quality of life for residents negatively if compared with independent or assisted living options available today.

Furthermore, privacy concerns may arise when multiple people share one room because nursing homes regularly lack private rooms.

4. Get Educated and Get Help from Supportive Resources and Groups

There are many government resources that offer caregiver support programs to help older adults.

Find Resources That Can Help

Local community organizations offer extremely valuable resources that can help relieve the stress experienced by families caring for an elderly parents. 

These include:

i. local community organizations

Local community organizations can be a great resource for families caring for an elderly parent or relative. 

Some examples of local programs:

Respite care services

It provides temporary relief and help to families who need a break from their caretaking duties.

These can range from in-home caregivers to residential care facilities.

This allows caregivers the opportunity to take some time off.

The family caregiver can have their “me time” while ensuring their elderly parents are receiving the highest quality of care.

Counseling and support groups

Another type of service offered by community organizations is counseling and support groups.

This can be invaluable for those who are new to caregiving.

Taking Care of Mom: 7 Essential Steps to Achieve Success

It provides them with a safe place to talk about their struggles.

Also available is information and resources on how best to handle difficult situations.

Educational seminars and workshops

A local area agency can also often offer educational seminars and workshops designed specifically for caregivers.

Caregivers are given access to vital information about topics such as:

i. geriatric nutrition

ii. financial planning

iii. legal issues

iv. end-of-life decisions

v. leisure activities and 

vi. home safety measures.

These sessions provide caregivers with the knowledge they need in order to make informed decisions about their loved one’s care needs.


Many local community organizations provide assistance with transportation for seniors through volunteer drivers or discounted fares on public transportation systems.

Transportation services can help seniors get around town safely and easily.

This can be incredibly helpful for those unable or unwilling to drive themselves due to age or disability.

This can be especially helpful for those who can no longer drive or who live in rural areas without public transportation.

By taking advantage of these available resources, caregivers can more easily manage the demands of providing senior care and still maintaining the highest quality of life possible for aging parents.

ii. home health agencies

Home help agencies provide a wide range of services to assist families in taking care of elderly people.

They provide everything from basic home care, such as helping with light housekeeping, meal preparation and grocery shopping, to more complex medical and non-medical services.

Home help agencies typically employ trained caregivers who can provide comprehensive support for elderly individuals.

They offer both in-home and out-of-home services that can be tailored to the specific needs of each individual.

This includes  providing nursing or medical assistance; providing companionship and advice on how best to manage day-to-day activities.

Home help agencies often offer respite care, which enables family caregivers a much needed break from their duties and a chance to focus on self care.

Respite care allows family members to take time away from their duties while knowing that the person they are caring for is in safe hands.

Home help agencies also aging life care professionals to provide specialized services such as physical therapy or speech therapy for those recovering from an illness or injury.

For many families, home help agencies can offer peace of mind knowing that aging parents will receive the personalized attention they need.

Home help agencies play a key role in ensuring seniors enjoy a high quality of life by helping them stay active and engaged within their communities and providing necessary support when needed.

iii. Adult daycare centers

Adult day care centers in your local area are a great option for caregivers who are trying to provide the best quality of life for an aging parent or family member.

These centers provide a safe and stimulating environment with activities and meals.

There are also socialization opportunities that can increase overall happiness and well-being.

Taking Care of Mom: 7 Essential Steps to Achieve Success

In adult day care centers, seniors can engage in meaningful activities with their peers such as arts and crafts, music classes, card games.

Also offered are exercise programs, gardening or walks in the park all under the supervision of trained staff.

The variety of supervised activities helps promote physical, mental engagement and provides social interaction with people their age.

Many adult day care programs offer onsite medical services such as medication management and monitoring.

This allows caregivers to rest assured that their loved one is receiving necessary medical attention while they are away at work or running errands.

Many programs also offer nutritional counseling to ensure proper nutrition and meal planning for seniors who may be unable to shop or cook for themselves.

By providing dietary guidance as well as stimulating activities in a social setting, these centers help boost morale and quality of life.

This allows adult children caring for elderly parents to have some time off from their rigorous duties.

5. Create a Schedule for Caregiver Respite

Caring for aging parents can be both physically and emotionally draining.

It’s important not to forget about the caregiver’s own health and need for rest and respite.

This can be achieved by establishing a consistent schedule for respite breaks throughout the week.

For example, having someone else look after your parent while you take some time for yourself or having your parent stay overnight with a relative or friend.

Sustain balance

Taking on the additional responsibility of caring for an aging parent can sometimes be overwhelming.

Be sure to allocate enough time for yourself throughout the week.

This means delegating certain tasks to another family member or outside service provider.

Taking regular breaks will help maintain balance both physically and mentally.

This is so you can continue providing top notch care over the long haul.

Caregiver support groups

Having a strong network of support when caring for an aging parent or family member is essential to managing the physical and emotional demands of this role.

This type of peer-support environment can be beneficial in helping members develop effective strategies for dealing with difficult moments.

Taking Care of Mom: 7 Essential Steps to Achieve Success

They provide reassurance that they are not alone in their struggle.

It promotes overall well being among its participants.

Caregiver support groups can provide a safe and nurturing space for caregivers to receive emotional and practical assistance from other caregivers who understand their situation.

These groups are typically facilitated by trained healthcare professionals and offer members the opportunity to speak openly about their experiences in a confidential setting.

They offer helpful advice on how to navigate the various aspects of caregiving, including information on financial arrangements and medical services.

Caregiver support group resources

Access to resources such as:

Books, websites,

community services that might assist in providing better care or improving quality of life for the aging parents.

Educational seminars

Educational seminars on topics related to senior health, caregiving needs such as legal issues or end-of-life planning.

Social activities

Social activities are designed to give members a reprieve from the demands of caregiving.

They are encouraged to connect with other individuals in similar circumstances.

6. Stay up to date on legal matters

Staying up to date on legal matters related to taking care of mom is essential to ensure that her wishes are honored and respected.

i. Learn about Elder Law

It pays to be informed about elder law if you’re in this situation.

Taking Care of Mom: 7 Essential Steps to Achieve Success

Elder law covers a variety of topics, from estate planning and wills to nursing home abuse and guardianship.

Understanding the legal aspects of caring for an elderly parent or relative can help you make sure that their wishes are respected and any risks are minimized.

State Probate Laws

Keep informed about any changes in state probate laws that could impact your mom’s estate planning goals.

Proactive estate planning is important as it will ensure that mom’s assets are distributed according to her wishes upon her passing.

Staying abreast of any relevant changes in local law will enable them to adjust their plans accordingly so that all desired effects are achieved.

ii. Update Financial Documents

Keeping your parent’s financial documents up-to-date is also important so that they remain organized and accurate throughout the years.

Make sure to review bank accounts, investments, insurance policies and tax returns.

Remember to also review Social Security benefits (including Medicare/Medicaid), annuities and trusts regularly with a financial advisor who specializes in elder law.

Long term care insurance and Medicaid coverage

It’s critical that caregivers understand the potential implications of long-term care insurance and Medicaid coverage.

Long-term care insurance policies can help cover some of the costs associated with in home care.

Medicaid can help provide financial support if needed.

If a caregiver doesn’t have a full understanding of these policies, they may not be able to maximize their parent’s benefits or arrange for suitable levels of coverage.

iii. Establish Power of Attorney

Another important legal matter when taking care of mom is establishing a power of attorney (POA).

This document allows someone else (the “attorney-in-fact”) to act on behalf of your parent should they become unable to manage their affairs due to illness or incapacity.

Depending on the type of POA granted by your mom, the attorney-in-fact may be able to make medical decisions, sign checks on their behalf or even buy/sell property in their name.

It’s important to understand the implications of the authority granted under the POA agreement.

This is so that you can ensure your parent’s best interests are always taken into account.

7. Plan for their future

It is wise to plan ahead for when taking care of your elderly parents is an essential part of being a responsible and proactive caregiver.

Knowing what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, and how it needs to be accomplished will make the task of caring for an aging parent much easier.

Taking Care of Mom: 7 Essential Steps to Achieve Success

Being prepared helps reduce stress and anxiety associated with caregiving.

When preparing for your aging parents’ future, consider all aspects of their life.

Everything from their medical history and current health status to insurance coverage and financial planning.

Any end of life care should be carefully examined and discussed with other family members or healthcare professionals if needed.

Think about where she will live in the future – whether its with you or an assisted living facility – as well as her preferences for lifestyle activities such as travel and leisure.

It can feel overwhelming but by having a plan in place, you can feel confident in your ability to provide quality care for your elderly parents now and into the future.

It also gives you a roadmap so that you don’t become overwhelmed by unexpected events or changes in condition.

Consider developing a ‘care plan’ that outlines each step that needs to be taken as part of providing effective senior care.

This could include making sure appointments are kept up to date and medications are taken properly – even if you’re not physically present all the time.

Doing so provides peace of mind by ensuring that everyone involved knows exactly what is expected from them.

As well as outlining potential risks or hazards associated with taking care of mom, it also provides a means by which important financial decisions can be made ahead of time.

These include setting aside money for long-term care or creating trusts/wills that specify how property will be handled after death.

This forethought is key in providing optimal protection for both aging parents and their heirs at any given moment in time.

This is something which would undoubtedly give any caregiver a sense of security going forward.

By planning ahead family caregivers can rest assured they have taken all necessary steps towards ensuring their loved one’s safety while embracing their independence.

It is something which is invaluable when dealing with aging parents who may struggle with giving up certain aspects of their autonomy.

Planning ahead gives caregivers more control over their own lives while still being able to provide adequate support when needed.

This is something which makes this role one that can ultimately be rewarding.