Heading home to share in the holiday spirit with your parents this year? Being “home for the holidays” offers an opportunity—especially for long-distance caregivers and adult children—to evaluate the ever-changing needs of your aging loved ones.
Download and follow this caregivers' checklist (in pdf format) from Easterseals when visiting with your aging parents, family members and loved ones. Sometimes seemingly simple tasks become more difficult as we age, and this checklist can help you assess any pressing or impending needs, from finding someone to cook or clean to installing stability bars in the bathroom.
Caring for an aging parent is one of the most important, and potentially rewarding, challenges you may ever face. Bear in mind that your family situation and the needs of your parents or other aging loved one will probably unfold over time. Now—or at some point in the future—your parent may need you to take care of them.
• Start by listening to your parents. Involve them in the decision making process as much as possible.
• To break the ice, ask them to share favorite memories of holidays over the years, then ask what they hope to do in coming years.
• Consult with a doctor, accountant, lawyer, clergy or other advisor before implementing any medical, financial or legal steps.
• Nursing homes and assisted living facilities are not your only choices for care. Be sure to look into other home and community-based service options like adult day centers and in-home care.
If you discover that your loved one needs additional care, you can turn to Easterseals for assistance. Get started with the Easterseals' caregiving guide, Loving Conversations.