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Don't Wait: You Must Have a Plan for Mom or Dad

You can see it on the horizon, but you're too busy to address it right now. You’re juggling life – a family, full-time job, pets, financials and everything else that goes with it. So when spending time with your aging parents, you probably can't imagine incurring something the size of their waning independence. And so it's easy to let it go, for now.

But the hard reality remains: most Americans do not have a plan for their aging loved one. When the problem with Mom or Dad worsens, many families endure the chaos and stress of trying to find a solution.

It doesn't have to be this way. Don't wait any longer. Find peace of mind by preparing yourself for what's ahead.

The first step toward maintaining your aging parent's well-being is to come up with a plan of care. With each passing year, your elderly parent may only require more assistance. A trusted caregiving agency can give an honest and experienced perspective on what to expect. Planning early for Mom or Dad will help you make better decisions.

Did You Know?

  • Your elderly mom or dad make up the ‘silver tsunami’ dramatically impacting the demographics of the nation. “The number of Americans ages 65 and older is projected to more than double from 46 million today to over 98 million by 2060, and the 65-and-older age group’s share of the total population will rise to nearly 24 percent from 15 percent,” according to Population Reference Bureau.
  • Aging parents face a higher chance of developing memory difficulties like dementia or Alzheimer's. “Demand for elder care will also be fueled by a steep rise in the number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease, which could nearly triple by 2050 to 14 million, from 5 million in 2013,” per the Population Reference Bureau.
  • Seniors increasingly want to ‘age in place.’ According to a joint report by the Home Care Association of America and Global Coalition on Aging: “Nine out of ten Americans 65 and older want to stay at home for as long as possible, and 80 percent think their current home is where they will always live.”

You want the best for your mom and dad, so it’s time to think about how to address the challenge of caring for them when they can no longer care for themselves.

The plan must be sustainable and realistic. Daily pressures from your work and personal life will prevent you from adequately addressing the needs of an aging parent. You're already a mom to growing children, a wife and a worker. When assuming the role of family caregiver to your elderly loved one, you represent the sandwich generation. You’re dealing with extra emotional, financial and legal stress. According to ‘Caregiving in the U.S.' by the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP Public Policy Institute, "On average, caregivers spend 24.4 hours a week providing care to their loved one. Nearly one-quarter provide 41 or more hours of care a week (23%)."

Don’t risk exposing yourself to dangerous burnout. Instead, a professional caregiver has the training to offer daily assistance to mom or dad. You can also rely on the caregiver to give you much-needed respite care.

Home Care Can Be Critical for Day-to-Day Life

A professional caregiver provides non-medical support for your aging parent. This person is a fully-trained professional. Compassion and patience underscore quality caregiving at home. When your mom or dad needs help with grooming, dressing, or preparing meals, the professional caregiver serves as the solution. The dedicated hire can also provide medication reminders, so your aging parent won’t forget.

The benefits of the professional caregiver include better health and potentially lower medical bills for your parent. “Elderly Americans receiving home care generally need fewer trips to doctors and hospitals. As a result, home care reduces overall health care costs…” according to the joint report by the Home Care Association of America and Global Coalition on Aging.

Companionship Can Be Key

As your elderly loved one ages, it's essential to keep stimulating his or her cognitive and social abilities. The friendly professional caregiver can energize your aging parent. This person is trained to support the emotional, physical and spiritual needs of the elderly. The professional caregiver offers a host of care services that can including teaching mom or dad the basics of texting, surfing the internet and social media. Your aging loved one won’t feel lonely or depressed. Instead, Mom or Dad will learn how to stay connected with you and the world.

Professional Caregivers Can Keep the Elderly Safe

Older people fall every second of every day, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The likelihood of a fall increases with age, up to 37 percent in people 85 years or older. So, it’s smart to hire a professional caregiver to prevent a fall before it happens to Mom or Dad. You will get a thorough assessment of the risk factors.

Meanwhile, the professional caregiver provides customized care for Mom or Dad experiencing dementia or Alzheimer’s. Your aging parent can avoid dangerous situations like keeping the stove on or getting lost while going to the grocery store.

It's natural to worry about your aging loved one; however, you can feel good knowing a professional caregiver is present, especially if you live a distance from Mom or Dad. Long-distance services give you the option to send care when you can’t be there.

Planning now for your elderly loved one will save you from panic, guilt and stress. Don’t wait for the dizzying chaos of a parent’s life event that changes everything. Planning for home care services right now can save you from having to react to an incident, but instead allow a plan your family made to unfold as it should.

Click here for more ways to be proactive, including knowing the signs of decreased independence of which you cannot ignore.

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