Taking care of older parents not only needs your presence but a solid financial plan as well. There are many things to consider, like where they will stay, who will take care of them, and whether they will require constant care. All these factors require financial planning. Discussed below are some affordable tips to help you care for your older parents.
Help Your Family Craft a Care Budget
Planning for the future by setting a certain amount aside to care for your older parents is one of the best ways to stay organized. When a situation arises, one can feel overwhelmed and not know where to start. Crafting a care budget will help you plan for your needs and your parents as well. Start with something short-term, like monthly costs. Do your elderly parents need care day and night or just during the day? Is there someone who will be taking care of them in the house, or do you need to hire a caregiver? Will you send them to a care center, or will they stay with you? Such questions can help you map how much you will need for caregiving. You can discuss this plan with other family members as well.
Look Into Adult Day Centers
An adult daycare center is where older adults go during the day to receive care and meals and participate in other activities. In these centers, adults can socialize with fellow seniors and engage in various activities, from singing and brain games to pet therapy. Since 52% of clients in adult day centers have some type of cognitive impairment, adult day care centers are a great place to send any aging parent for quality care. For anyone afraid their parents may wander and get lost, it’s a great option to consider. You can work in peace with an adult care program knowing your parents are in good hands. The costs can also be also cheaper compared to hiring a caregiver to come to your house.
Ensure Their Home Is Properly Maintained
If your parents stay by themselves, you may want to prepare a maintenance and repair checklist for anything that can put them at risk. By ensuring they are in a safe environment, you can simplify caring for your senior and have peace of mind. You may also have to make modifications to the home they are staying in. For instance, furnaces have been designed to last about 15-20 years with proper maintenance. If it is the heating system installed in your elderly parents’ home, confirm how old it is, and if it is faulty, replace it with a modern heating system. Go through and check other appliances and systems in your parents’ home as well.
Help Your Parents Grocery Shop for Healthy Food
Your elderly parents have specific nutritional needs that you will have to help them meet. For instance, include fruits and vegetables containing essential minerals, fiber, and vitamins required by older adults. If your parents have chewing issues, choose softer fruits like mangos, bananas, and pears. Carbohydrates like rice and pasta are easy to digest, especially whole-grain pasta and brown rice. Healthy foods will go a long way in boosting their general health.
Speak With Their Doctor About Pain Management and Daily Supplements
Older adults tend to experience pain from time to time, which can make them feel helpless and irritable. The best solution is to talk to their doctor about pain management and daily supplements. The good thing is that senior citizens are eligible for Medicare, which can help reduce health expenses. Since older patients react differently to certain types of pain-relieving drugs than younger patients, there has been an increase in the use of medical marijuana to treat pain. In fact, about 85% of legal cannabis consumed is used for pain treatment. You can talk to their doctor and see if this is a suitable option for your elderly parents.
While setting a budget for care, it is hard to estimate how long you will need it. As you cannot predict the caregiving time, consider long-term solutions, like long-term care insurance. Most people use a long-term care calculator to see how much it will cost them for a certain period. It can range from just a few months to as long as five years. You can speak with a financial advisor to help you plan accordingly.
Taking care of an elderly parent can alter your life’s plan, but the process becomes more manageable if done right. You can also talk to people who have gone through the same experience and see if there are tips you can borrow.