Life can become a bit of a rollercoaster when you have elderly parents to take care of. You want to offer them the best care and assistance possible, but at the same time, you’ve got your own life to live and can only do so much.
Some 8.3 million adults receive some form of elderly care each year.
A large number of people find themselves taking on the effort of being the sole caregiver for their parents.
Assess Whether Caring For Your Elderly Parents is Taking Too Great a Toll
To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with taking care of your elderly parents. As a matter of fact, it’s admirable.
However, you could be taking on too much in the process. Here are some signs that you’re taking on more than you can handle, and should consider bringing in professional help.
1. You’re Not Able to Live Prosperously
A big sign that you’re taking on more than you can handle is that you’re not considering your own life anymore. If your hopes, dreams, and goals aren’t taking priority in your life, you need to take a step back and breathe.
Set benchmarks in your life and be sure that you are pressing forward to accomplish them no matter what.
2. You Find Yourself Stressed and Dealing With Anxiety
When you have undue stress and anxiety in your life from taking care of your parents, it can be more detrimental than you think. You can even begin experiencing stress to the point that it creates physical pain and suffering.
More than 11 percent of people who serve as caretakers even experience a physical breakdown in their health.
If you’re losing your own health while taking care of your parents, you’ll need to take a step back and consider the situation.
3. You’re Spending Too Much Money Doing it All Yourself
When you’re acting as a sole caregiver, you’re often flying by the seat of your pants. Rather than having professional care that you pay a flat fee for, you’re constantly burning gas money, buying supplies, filling prescriptions, and more.
These expenses can add up if you aren’t careful, to the point that you go into crippling debt.
4. You’ve Had to Quit Your Job or Sacrifice Too Much
You’re definitely facing an uphill battle if caretaking has made you sacrifice your work. Whether that means you’ve lost your job or future opportunities, you may find yourself in financial ruin that you can’t bounce back from.
In fact, about 67 percent of bankruptcy situations happen due to medical bills.
5. You Aren’t Equipped to Give Them the Care That They Need
It’s also best to leave the care of your elderly parents to professionals if you can’t offer them adequate assistance.
This is especially important if your loved ones have serious physical limitations or cognitive issues. Getting the help of a professional that is equipped to take care of them will be ideal for you both.
Don’t Do it Alone
Whew. Take a deep breath and realize that you absolutely don’t have to do it all yourself. Hiring a professional will be best for you both, and will help you take a load off your mental health. It’s important to know when it’s time to get help taking care of elderly parents.
Here are some of the professional services that can help you out:
1. Companies Can Set You Up With Personal Care Services
When your elderly parents need personal care on an ongoing basis, professionals will be helpful. Some of the services that professionals can offer include feeding your parent, helping with bathing and using the bathroom, providing exercise opportunities, and helping them get dressed.
This is important if your parents have day-to-day living needs.
2. Home Care Services Can Look After Specialized Healthcare Needs
A professional is especially helpful when your loved one has specific needs. This might include things like care for patients who have Alzheimer’s and dementia.
They can also help your parent rest and recuperate if they have had some sort of surgery or medical procedure. For the child of an aging parent, this kind of break can be just what caregivers need.
3. Professionals Can Also Offer Companionship
Human beings require companionship — never lose sight of this fact. Your parents can get lonely over time — especially if you have things going on in your life and aren’t able to provide full-time care.
Professionals can also offer companionship that can make up for this. In addition to spending time together and having a friend they can talk to, these professionals can also handle things like taking care of bills and errands.
4. They Have the Training That Will Give Your Loved Ones Much-Needed Expertise
With a long-term caregiver, ou’ll know that you are getting top-notch care from professionals that are properly trained and certified. This means holding certifications in things like dementia care, hospice care, and post-acute care — in addition to backgrounds like nursing.
This way, you will know your parent is getting care that is better than what you can do on your own.
5. Make Sure You Can Afford the Elderly Care Services
Finally, be sure that you budget some money and plan out the care that your parent needs. Look into their Medicare and Medicaid plans and find an elderly care services company that you can afford.
Shop with a few different companies so that they’re looked after without it being too expensive.
Give Your Loved Ones the Care They Need
Elderly parents require some TLC, but you also need to live a life of your own. You’ll get the best of both worlds when you hire the help of a professional elderly care company.
Commonwise Home Care can help you with whatever kinds of services you need.
We have offices in Richmond, Charlottesville, and Charleston. Take the time to contact us in order to give your loved ones the care that they need.
Read more about our at home care services or call our Care Team today at 434.202.8565.
Disclaimer: Please check with your physician before making any changes to your diet, exercise, or medication routine.