Life is cyclical, and at some point in our lives, many of us reach a point where we take on the mantle of caregiver. Having been looked after by our parents in the early stages of life, the tables turn, and we take on the responsibility of caring for our moms and dads. As your parents get older, and they require more help and attention, here’s a guide to help you excel in your new role.
Understanding entitlements and insurance packages
As you get older, you have access to different insurance plans and packages and systems that are designed to ease the pressure of financing medical care. If your parents have reached the age when they’re entitled to benefit from Medicare, it’s hugely beneficial to explore the different plans and ensure they have access to features and services that are relevant to them. If you’re not familiar with the ins and outs of Medicare, seeing an adviser or visiting a site like Medicare Nationwide can clarify the processes involved in applying for a plan and provide answers to questions. There are stipulations and time-frames to bear in mind, and seeking advice is an excellent way to simplify the application process and make sure your parents are covered.
Assessing individual needs
We all age at a different rate and some people enjoy much better health in their senior years than others. At 75, some people are still incredibly active, fit, and independent, while others require assistance at home or ongoing medical care. If you’re keen to help your parents out, or they need care, assess their individual needs, and come up with a plan. If it’s a matter of doing a bit of shopping, driving them to places to catch up with friends or cooking some meals to put in the freezer for the rest of the week, you may have everything covered. However, if one or both of your parents require nursing care, or they struggle to get dressed and washed, you might need extra help. Home care services may be an option worth considering, for example.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle
As you age, your risk of developing certain illnesses increases. It’s not possible to avoid every condition, but there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of poor health. These include being as active as possible, keeping your brain busy, eating well, and socializing. Your parents may be able to take care of cooking and meal preparation and they might have an active social life. Alternatively, they may find it difficult to rustle up homemade meals or to get out and about. You can help out by offering lifts or finding out about local transport schemes, assisting with cooking or arranging home deliveries. There might also be opportunities to join clubs or groups in the local neighborhood, which you can find out about online or by talking to neighbors, colleagues, or friends.
Many of us choose to step in and look after our parents as they get older. If you’re caring for your elderly parents, make sure you’re aware of their entitlements in terms of medical care and insurance and assess the level of support they need. Help them to maintain a healthy lifestyle and don’t be afraid to ask for extra help if their requirements are more complex.