Caring for your elderly parents – a checklist

As you get older, you’ll undoubtedly have to face the task of caring for your elderly parents. This can be a hard time, seeing the people who took care of you your entire childhood suddenly unable to care for themselves. Which is why having a checklist of what you need, and when, will help smooth the process just a little.

Medical Aid

Medical aid for pensioners gets expensive! Which doesn’t really make sense – but so is life.

There are ways to bring the prices down, like if they join your medical aid, or if you move down in packages. But be sure to keep some medical cover, and a hospital plan. As we get older, our bodies need more attention, and it will be even more costly if you are without!

Funeral Insurance

Not something anyone wants to think of, but getting funeral insurance for seniors, especially once they’re over 65 can be a nightmare. If your parent doesn’t yet have a funeral plan, be sure to set one up as soon as possible.

We can’t fight the inevitable, and it’s much better to be prepared than to be caught off guard.

Care home vs Retirement village vs Staying at home

As a family, you’ll have to decide whether your mom and dad will stay with you, or a sibling, go to a retirement village, or be housed in a care facility. This is a personal decision, because some seniors will need nurses, while others can stay on their own well into their 70s and 80s.

Some children prefer to have their parents at home, or finances dictate that it must be that way. This can be stressful on marriages and family dynamics, so be sure to keep communication open and allow everyone to settle in at their own pace.

At home accessories

Wherever your parent decides to live, it’s time to start thinking about an ‘old age kit’ as well as decorating for seniors. Things like walkers, wheelchairs, and toilet seats. Shower rails, steps, and other frail care accessories may also be needed. This will depend on how frail your elderly parent is, and how much care they need.

Essential quality time while caring for your elderly parents

Try not to let your frustrations and stress keep you from bonding with your senior parents. Take them out once a month, have lunch together every Sunday. Get the whole family together and go bowling. It’s important that they feel loved and appreciated as they gracefully age.

Get your elderly parents a hobby

Don’t let your mom or dad simply sit in front of their favourite TV dramas. If you can, encourage them to take up a hobby. Whether it’s knitting, crosswords, or bingo every Tuesday night. Perhaps they’re a little spunkier and you could suggest line dancing or fishing trips.

This should be the best time of their lives. They have plenty of free time, and should enjoy it! Plus getting out of the house and staying social and active will keep their minds and bodies well.

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