How to Cope with Caring for Aging Parents: Declare your independence

Caring for elderly parents can be both satisfying and exhausting. Although it may feel counterintuitive, the best way to reduce the stress and strain is to declare temporary independence from those who depend on you.

But that’s hard when you worry about leaving your loved one. Trying one of these options for respite care for family caregivers like you can make it easier:

1.    Activate your personal network. The closest place to turn for support for caring for elderly parents is other family members, neighbors and friends. Many wish to help, but aren’t sure how. Others are afraid the caregiving will be too difficult. But removing even a small task from your to-do list makes a big difference. So create a list of things you could use some help with and categorize them so others can find an option they’re comfortable with. Include easy items like short visits and meal preparation, plus slightly more involved tasks like rides to medical appointments or overseeing medications, etc. Get expert tips for dealing with family conflicts over caregiving.

2.    Capitalize on technology. Medical alert devices, like the Philips Lifeline solutions, give you the confidence to leave your loved ones without guilt and worry. This technology provides immediate access to trained emergency response associates at the press of a button when a health or other emergency arises. Philips’ AutoAlert fall detection technology sends an alert when a fall is detected1, even if your family member is unable to. And its GoSafe solutions use up to six mobile location technologies to help pinpoint your senior’s location*.

3.    Take advantage of group resources. Adult daycare and senior centers are another option, especially if you need regular or daylong respites. These settings enlarge your relative’s social group, which is a great way to avoid loneliness. This is an especially good choice for loved ones who have cognitive issues, hearing or visual impairment, or who require medication on a specific schedule. Read more about how adult day care benefits you and your family member.

4.    Secure professional homecare. While homecare requires a financial commitment, it may be the most flexible and reliable option. Professional support from trained, licensed and insured professional caregivers eases is crucial for seniors requiring wound care, rehabbing from a hospital discharge or with multiple chronic illnesses. New technologies enable a blend of in-home and remote care options. 

Use these tips to declare your independence from caregiver burnout and stress and reduce your own feelings of isolation and loneliness.

 

Related Resources:

 

 

AutoAlert does not detect 100% of falls. If able, users should always push their button when they need help. Button signal range may vary due to differing environmental factors.

*With GoSafe, coverage outside the home is provided where AT&T wireless network coverage is available. Recharging of the GoSafe button is done by the user as needed, when connected to the charger. GoSafe 2 coverage inside and outside the home is provided where AT&T wireless network coverage is available. Recharging of the GoSafe 2 button is done by the user as needed, when connected to the charger.

 

See also
Caregivers

Caregivers

Are you caring for an aging parent or loved one? At times, it can be stressful, but you are not on your own! Try our expert advice for managing family issues, keeping mom independent and more. more

Healthcare Pros

Healthcare Pros

Whether you’re a nurse, case worker, doctor or another healthcare professional, you know aging patients have unique needs. Explore our resources for working with this growing population. more

Seniors

Seniors

We all get older, but how you do it is up to you. We have articles and tools to help you live independently and enjoy life the way you want to, as well as other important topics as you age. more