How do You Care for the Aging Family Members in Your Life?

How do You Care for the Aging Family Members in Your Life?

As your loved ones get older, caring for them can require an expenditure of time and money. Here are some ideas for caring for aging family members.

Last week, I visited my grandpa in Arizona as part of spring break. He’s getting ready to move into an assisted living facility (complete with memory care). As I’ve watched my mom work through things like power of attorney and looking at his finances, it’s clear that there’s a lot going on there.

How do you care for the aging family members in your life? This is a question that is coming up more and more often from my readers who are part of what is known of as the sandwich generation.

Not only do you have to determine if your elderly loved one is capable of staying in their own home or if other arrangements need to be made, you also have to determine how you’re going to afford to support two households or pay for assisted living if it’s necessary.

Here are some of the top ways you can help care for your aging family members without bringing them down and putting yourself in financial straits at the same time.

Simple Cell Phone Plans

A simple cell phone plan through a company like Jitterbug can take care of two things at once for you and your aging family member. For one, the cell phones are affordable, and the plans are even more affordable, so this helps you and your family member financially. Two, having a simple cell phone that is easy to operate can give your aging family member the independence they need. It will be easy for them to keep in touch with you, no matter where they are with a cell phone that is simple to use.

We recently got my grandpa a phone like this. It simplifies the process and cuts back on some of the scam calls he gets. A new phone with a different number can help them avoid getting taken advantage of.

Check On Them Regularly

One of the best ways to let your parent’s keep their independence to keep your own peace of mind at the same time is to check on them regularly. Pop in to have a cup of coffee or just a chat. In this way, you’re making sure your parent is okay and keeping them from being lonely at the same time. Making sure to take them to doctors appointments and into town to shop are other ways that you can be sure your parents are safe, happy, and healthy.

When my grandma was dying, she was able to stay in her own home because she lived near family and we could take turns checking. She had hospice care, and we could verify that everything was being taken care of according to plan. My aunt helped her balance her checkbook and reconcile her accounts each month as well.

These simple actions can make a big difference when caring for aging family members. Plus you head off potentially more expensive problems later.

Ask What They Think

One of the things that children forget when it comes to caring for aging loved ones is that their loved ones still want to have a say in their own lives. There are many different reasons to let your loved one age in place, one of them is that it’s what they want to do.

So, before you snatch your parent up and put them in an assisted living facility or move them into your own home, ask what they want to do and what they think would be best for them. Once you know, if they are able, then sit down and work out together what is best and how you can help them be able to stay in their own home.

At times, though, there’s really no alternative. If your aging family members are unable to care for themselves, and if you can’t care for them, an assisted living facility might be the only option.

Final Thought

These are just a few of the ways that you can help your aging loved ones through the twilight of life. Remember, 60 is the new 40, but that doesn’t mean your aging parents don’t need a little help. From asking them what they want to getting them a cell phone to help them keep their independence, there are ways that you can help your aging parents and still let them keep their identities and stay in their own homes until the last minute.

Written by Miranda Marquit

Miranda Marquit is a freelance writer and professional blogger, specializing in personal finance, small business, and investing topics. She writes for a number of financial web sites and blogs, and has been featured in numerous media. Read about life as a freelancer at MirandaMarquit.com and in her book Confessions of a Professional Blogger.

3 Responses to How do You Care for the Aging Family Members in Your Life?

  1. Thank you for the idea of a simple cell phone. With WhatsApp, I find it so easy to stay in touch with my aging dad and step-mom (who are still young in their late 70s!)

    I think this is the key statement: “One of the things that children forget when it comes to caring for aging loved ones is that their loved ones still want to have a say in their own lives.”

    Our parents are used to being the matriarch and patriarch of the family. We have to be careful about taking the reins from them. Because even if we need to do that for just a short time for a health care or other reason, the reins will never feel quite right again if/once we give them back.
    It’s a tough balance.

  2. This can become a major issue if a parent or other family member needs fulltime care. If there is no one available to stay home and take care of them you have to look into skilled nursing care which gets very expensive in a hurry. Love your site, thanks for posting great content!

    Mike Ballew

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