When you can no Longer Care for an Elderly Parent

Are you a family caregiver who is thinking,” I cannot care for my elderly parents anymore”?

There are so many reasons that you may not be able to care for your elderly parents such as financial, geographic, emotional, or physical reasons. These problems are sometimes hard to discuss. Sometimes people need help dealing with the challenges of caregiving. If you have been a caregiver for a long time, you may be thinking, “I’m really exhausted from taking care of my parents”. If you are a primary caregiver for elderly parents, you have to sacrifice a lot, which means you don’t have enough time for yourself. When you have your kids or a spouse and other personal responsibilities, it’s even harder.

There are other problems that give you more stress. When you have other family members, they may think that you don’t want to care for your elderly mother or father anymore. But you don’t need to worry – many caregivers feel this stress. What you need to do is just provide a good quality of life to your aging parents.

How to tell family you’ve reached a breaking point in taking care of elderly parents

When you are taking care of an aging parent, it can be a hard job. A lot of people are not comfortable sharing negative feelings with respect to caregiving due to guilt. Be honest and open about how you are feeling, especially when you are talking to your family members. Let them know that you have reached a breaking point in taking care of elderly parents. Tell them you need some support, or you may need an assistant. You should express your concerns calmly and respectfully. Always remember – it is really important to ask for help when you need it. It’s a very simple thing that your family will understand and will provide the assistance you need.

Assess your loved one's needs

Understanding specific needs:

All aging parents have distinct needs. These can range from help with their daily chores to needing advanced medical assistance. Consult with healthcare providers and geriatric care specialists that can help assess health and wellness needs, and provide suitable care solutions.

Comprehensive health assessment:

Evaluation of your overall health is called comprehensive health assessment, it includes a physical examination, medical history review, and various tests and screenings. To make it easier for your older parents, you can try to find home care services, adult daycares, or residential care facilities.

Family and community support:

Family and community support are important for aging parents. You should encourage family members to help. Whether it’s taking turns with caregiving responsibilities or emotional support. You should contact local community organizations and senior centers for resources and assistance to help address all aspects of the elderly individual’s needs.

Consider hiring a home care service:

Personalized care at home:

When it comes to personalized care at home for elderly family members, it is good to create a comfortable and safe environment. You can install grab bars or ramps for their living space to their needs. You can communicate with their healthcare team regularly and provide medication management support. Furthermore, you can create good activities that bring joy to your elderly family members.

Specialized caregivers:

Specialized caregivers can provide support to your elderly mother and father. You should look for professional caregivers who have experience and training in geriatric care. Specialized caregivers can assist with the activities of their daily life, medication management, and companionship. You should communicate with caregivers about your parents’ specific needs and preferences to ensure their personalized care. Mostly consider hiring caregivers through professional agencies, and seek recommendations from healthcare professionals or friends who have had positive experiences.

Explore nursing homes and assisted living facilities:

Continuous supervision and support:

Regular supervision and support for elderly parents is important for their safety and well-being. You should install security systems or medical alert devices for your aging parent’s safety. Explore options for in-home care or assisted living facilities that provide 24/7 supervision. Always remember, that open communication and regular visits can provide reassurance and ensure they have the support they need.

Research and visits:

Researching and visiting potential care facilities for aging parents is important. You should find the best-assisted living facilities or care providers that best fit your needs. Visit these places to get a firsthand look at the environment and the people who are working there. During these visits, ask questions, observe the level of care provided, and consider how well it aligns with your preferences and requirements.

Financial implications:

It is important to assess their financial situation and explore options for funding their care. You should look for long-term care insurance or government assistance programs. These will help you ease the burden on yourself, and you will have good sources to help your aging parents. You should consult with a financial advisor or elder law attorney who specializes in Medicaid Planning to understand the best strategies for managing their finances and ensuring they have the necessary resources for their care.

Check in with yourself and seek support:

Mental health and well-being:

Taking care of your mental health and well-being is important. Focus on your emotions and self-care activities that bring happiness in your life and also make you relax and release your stress. Seeking support through counseling, support groups, or depending on friends and family can help reduce stress and caregiver burnout. You can plan a trip and explore new places to make your mind relax and have a peaceful time, or you can join a fitness club to do exercises. It will also help you to make your brain relax.

Balanced lifestyle:

Remember to prioritize self-care by engaging in activities that bring you joy and happiness. You should set boundaries and ask for help from your family members and friends when needed. If you ask for help from friends or other family members, you will have less stress and not too much pressure from your aging parents. Then you can easily focus on your work and can do your other life’s things in a normal way. You should make time for social gatherings and hobbies outside of caregiving. When you take care of yourself, it allows you to provide the best care for your loved ones.

Legal responsibilities and financial planning:

Understanding legal frameworks:

When you are talking about the frameworks for caregivers, it mostly depends on the country. There are laws and regulations to protect both the caregivers and the individuals receiving care. These frameworks often cover areas like minimum wage, working hours, health and safety standards, and employment rights. It is good for caregivers to familiarize themselves with the specific laws and regulations in their area to ensure they are providing care within the legal boundaries.

Comprehensive financial planning:

When it comes to comprehensive financial planning for a caregiver of aging parents, there are a few steps to consider. First, you should look at your current financial situation, including income, expenditures, and other existing assets or debts. Next, you should create a budget to manage expenses and make sure there’s enough money for caregiving needs. You can look for financial assistance programs, benefits, or insurance options that could support you. You can also consider financial planning such as retirement savings and estate planning.

Exploring alternative care options:

Community-based services:

Some agencies or communities offer services like meal services, transportation, and adult care centers. These services can help you with additional support and create a comprehensive caregiving approach.

Assessing varying levels of care:

There are many care options that are good for caregivers. Caregivers can choose the best services they need for their loved ones, enabling a more effective caregiving strategy.

Specialized support for specific needs:

Tailored programs:

Dementia or mobility issues is a condition that affects the brain and causes a memory decline, thinking, and reasoning abilities. It’s very common in aging people and can also impact a person’s behavior and ability to perform daily activities. Here are some tailored programs and facilities designed to cater to these needs, ensuring specialized and focused care.

Healthcare consultation:

Healthcare is very important for aging parents. You should find a trusted healthcare provider who specializes in geriatric care. They can easily assess your elderly parent’s health, provide guidance or manage chronic conditions, and offer preventive care recommendations. They also keep track of their medical history, medications, and upcoming appointments. You should openly communicate with the healthcare team, ask questions, and advocate for your older parent’s needs. You can do their regular check-ups and screenings to maintain their good health.

Conclusions:

In ensuring the well-being of the caregiver, you require a multifaceted approach, aligning the diverse needs of the elderly with complete care options. You should take advantage of available resources. Maintaining a support system and continuous learning and adaptation are pivotal in navigating the challenges of caregiving.

FAQs

What is your parents’ health insurance coverage?

Your aging parents should have access to the healthcare they need, and if they have health insurance, it will help them in their medical treatment. It is also important to review their current health insurance plan and also understand what it covers, including doctor visits, hospital stays, medications, and specialized care. If their current plan does not provide enough coverage, they need to explore other options such as Medicare or supplemental insurance plans.

What health issues are you most concerned about for the future?

You should discuss any chronic sickness or conditions that require your parents to have ongoing treatment. You should ask what kind of care and medications your elderly parents need.

Where would they prefer to live if they were no longer able to stay in their home?

If your parents are comfortable living in a nursing home or your mother and father would like to move in with a friend or a family member, you should be open and direct about your ability to honor their wishes.

What level of care would your parents want if they became seriously ill?

This is a very important question. Once your parents express their wishes, an Estate Planning Lawyer can draw up an advanced medical directive. This is a written document that appoints a person to make wishes on behalf of a sick or elderly person who can no longer make medical decisions for themselves.

There are two parts of an advance directive. A living will contains written directions to health care providers regarding what types of life support treatments a person does or does not want to receive. The second part is the medical power of attorney that gives another person the legal authority to make medical treatment decisions on his or her behalf.

When should you stop being a caregiver?

When you are a caregiver, it is also important to consider your well-being and capacity to provide good care. It may be time to stop being a caregiver if it becomes overwhelming, affects your health, or if your parents need an extra kind of help that you cannot handle. You should ask for help from healthcare professionals and explore alternative care options, or you should look for aging facilities.

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Written By Chris Atallah - Founder, Rochester Law Center, PLLC

estate-planning

Written By Chris Atallah - Founder, Rochester Law Center, PLLC

Chris Atallah is a licensed Michigan Attorney and the author of “The Ultimate Guide to Wills & Trusts – Estate Planning for Michigan Families”. Over that past decade, Chris has helped 1,000s of Michigan families and businesses secure their futures in all matters of Wills, Trusts, and Estate Planning. He has taught dozens of seminars across the State of Michigan on such topics as avoiding the death tax, protecting minor children after the parents’ death, and preserving family wealth from the courts and accidental disinheritance. If you have any questions, Chris would be happy to answer them for you – just call at 248-613-0007.