If you’re faced with the prospect of caring for an aging parent, the task may seem daunting. It’s painful to even think about the eventuality of our parents aging into infirmity, so it’s generally not something people like to prepare for. However, if your parent or parents are already showing signs of needing elder care, it’s time to face the fact that you must provide it. But where should you start? Obviously, you’ll want to give your parents the best care possible, but if this is a situation you’ve never experienced, it can be difficult to know where to start. We’ve cobbled together some advice on how to start this journey and some of the most trustworthy tools to use when you’re searching for help.
Before you open a single internet browser, first determine what kind of care your parent or parents need. If they’re suffering from a cognitive illness like dementia or Alzheimer’s, they’ll need very different attention than a parent who’s simply becoming too infirm to care for themselves. Taking the time to figure out what your parents will need will narrow your search for care once you begin it.
The next step in your search for elder care will be gathering all of the relevant documentation caregivers will ask for. This will include birth certificates, social security numbers, bank statements and medical records. If you’re not already well-versed in your parents’ medical history, now is the time to do so. You’ll most likely be meeting with doctors and other health professionals, and it’ll be very helpful to already have a working knowledge of your parents’ health histories so you can not only answer questions but also ask the appropriate ones when the time comes.
Now that you have all the information you’ll need at hand, it’s the time to start looking for different care services. The government is actually a phenomenal resource for Elder Care facilities and providers. ElderCare.gov is their main website and simply inputting your zip code will result in a list of elder care resources at your fingertips immediately. The advantage of going through ElderCare.gov is that the results are trusted sources making it a great place to start if you’re looking for trustworthy organizations. When it comes to caring for a parent, you want to make sure you’re working with the best, not the shiniest.
Non-profits are a great place to start when looking to find a service that provides help for seniors. You’re also more likely to find places and people that are trustworthy and prioritize care over profits. If you’re interested in in-home care. The Next Step In Care and AARP’s Caregiving Resource Center are great places to start. Caring From a Distance offers support for out-of-state caregivers who are unable to relocate. If you’re simply just looking for a system of support or a good place to get information about the journey you face, the Caregiver Action Network offers a wide-range of information and contacts that can help you deal with caring for aging parents, regardless of what type of ailment they may suffer.