I remember four years ago when my mother was diagnosed with dementia. There was this mountain of responsibilities that had now shifted to my shoulders. An unfortunate truth about getting older is all the added responsibilities. I tell my kids all the time to, “Stop rushing to grow up, and enjoy your youth.” Why? Because all that awaits are the bills and headaches of adulting. One of those major responsibilities that many never quite plan for is that of caring for your aged or disabled parents. In fact, 15% of adults between the ages of 40 – 50 are responsible for taking care of their children as well as their elderly parents, with a total of 46% that have kids and retirement age parents they expect to have to care for soon.
Where do you start with such a sensitive and vast subject? Sensitive because it requires acknowledging the reversal of roles that were thought to be cemented. The child now takes care of the parent, and in essence the parent has to submit or acquiesce to their child.
There’s no easy way about it, but you can save yourself some unnecessary headaches by doing your research & being prepared. Start here with this list of insights and resources to assist you in providing the care your parent needs.
Research & Resources
Dealing with my mother’s diagnosis left me stressed, overwhelmed, and a bit resentful to say the least. Her doctor’s had restricted her from driving on her own, which she managed to take in stride. My mother was already living in an apartment complex for seniors, and they helped me a great deal throughout her transition. I’m so grateful they provided weekly social worker check-ins and other resources to educate and keep the seniors active.
If you find yourself at this stage, not knowing what to do next, breathe easy. There are numerous resources available that are invaluable to allowing a smooth transition and easy eldercare management.
Before you think dollar signs, start with the free resources. They may be all you need. Here are a few:
Start with the Social Security & Medicare websites
- If your parent is on either, there are additional services they may be entitled to receive for free.
Town or City government website
- Elder care services are listed separately and can point you to facilities and elder care management workers to assist you.