As our parents get older, we must consider different factors and ways we can provide for them. Naturally, as their health deteriorates, there comes a time when they need extra help with day-to-day tasks. As every child does, we want to help our parents maintain their quality of life and their independence for as long as possible. However, we constantly worry and hope they can cope without us. But what happens when they cannot live alone anymore, and we face the burdensome decision of moving them into our own homes, into a home-care facility, or hire additional in-home care?
Many of us face this difficult decision, and caring for our parents only becomes more challenging as they age. You are not alone! Over a third of the Canadian population provides some form of caregiving to aging relatives. The following blog post provides step-by-step advice for those caring for their elderly parents'.
Step1: Caregiver Action Plans
Once you’ve determined your parents need help or need to relocate, you must create a Caregiver Action Plan. This plan provides an outline as to how you can care for your parent(s) properly and plan for the future. Caregiver Plans will continuously change, as their needs for care change over time. It’s important to revisit the plan when required. This plan should address the following questions to help you assess their needs of care.
At what capacity can your parent care for themselves? Can they take care of daily tasks like bathing, cooking, going to the bathroom, eating, walking, dressing, etc.?
Can they manage their financial tasks like paying bills, or going to the bank?
Can they take their own medications properly and regularly?
How is their sleep schedule, are they getting enough sleep, do they have enough energy to get through the day?
Can they drive? If not, how are they getting from one place to the next?
Do they have temporary assistance in their own homes, like cleaning, gardening, cooking, etc.?
Do they need extra in-home assistance? In-home nurse, caregiver, cleaners, etc.
These questions will help you determine the level of care required for your parent. If you require assistance in creating Caregiver Action Plans, or need more information, please call Aspen Care. We provide free information and advice for you and your parent(s).
Once you have answered the previous questions, you must determine what forms of care are needed on a short-term basis, a one-time basis, and what is needed in the long-term. Write all of this down, and this will be the bulk of your Caregiver Action Plan.
Step 2: Managing the Needs of Care
Once you have an adequate understanding of their abilities and needs, the next step will be to determine who will manage these needs. Allocate each need to someone who can manage them properly, such as a cleaning service, respite care, nurse aide, companion care, or family members, and friends. If you realize that their needs become too great, you may want to consider an in-home 24-7 nurse or even a home-care program like Aspen Care, that can offer your parent with what they need. Please visit our services (LINK) to help you manage their care.
Step 3: Alberta Health Care Coverage
Depending on your Caregiver Action Plan, and what level of care your parent requires, additional Alberta Health Services can assist you! Many services are covered under Alberta Health Services. Please visit Alberta Health Services for more information.
We hope that this blog post can guide you when facing difficult decisions as our parents age. Please do not hesitate to contact Aspen Care Calgary for any information or advice when it comes to caring for our elderly parents. We are here for you, and here to help our community!