Caring for elderly relatives is a struggle that most of us will face at some point in our lives – and it usually comes right when we are also raising children of our own. As more of us are leaving starting a family until later in our lives, when we have established our careers or bought our first home, it’s quite common to have both challenging teenagers or even young children, and have your own parents or grandparents requiring your help at the same time. It’s a hard line to tread, and life can see very demanding, especially if you’re also holding down a job. You don’t want to let anyone down but there don’t seem to be enough hours in the day. The aging process doesn’t just affect your relatives – it also has a wider effect on you and your children too. Being prepared and having a little knowledge can go a long way to easing this process.
Getting External Support
As aging is a highly individual and a gradual process, sometimes situations can develop without you full realising the implications. It’s one thing if the seniors in your family are fully mentally okay and still active, and it’s quite another scenario if their health starts to decline. The activities for their daily living requirements will be very different. With an elderly loved one in good health, there is more you will be able to do personally to support them – simple things such as making sure you and your children visit regularly, or helping them to order their groceries online. However, there may come a time when your relative needs help with things such as dressing themselves, visiting the bathroom, bathing or showering, eating at mealtimes, personal hygiene or administering their finances. This is a very different scenario and you will have to carefully weigh up what support it’s possible for you to provide with what may need to be handled by professional carers or healthcare officials. There may come a time when you need to consider a care facility, if your relative can no longer handle any of these daily tasks by themselves. This can be a hard thing to decide, so do your research carefully – you don’t want to find yourself trying to track down the best nursing home abuse attorneys in town.
Secure Your Financial Position
The act of caring for an elderly loved one also involves a certain amount of cost. Check if your relative is eligible to receive any financial support package from government programs to help cover the cost of their living expenses. You should also aim to have an honest conversation with them about their finances and what money they have saved to fund their retirement. As a caregiver, you may also be eligible for some tax relief from deducting medical expenses or claiming your relative as an official dependent. There are various groups at state and federal level which provide free assistance with taxes to seniors as well. Explore all the avenues available to help make your situation work on a financial level, as it can be tough.