Taking Care of Elderly Parents When You Have a Busy Schedule

According to a recent study, over 34 million Americans provide unpaid care to adults aged 50 or older. With seniors living longer, this number will likely grow. As people live longer, more adult children end up caring for elderly parents and juggling their busy work and family responsibilities. This can be challenging, but with some planning and creativity, providing good care for aging parents, even with a packed schedule, is possible. 

Taking Care of Elderly Parents When You Have a Busy Schedule

Matthew Minner, an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer in Kentucky, shares five tips on how to take care of your loved one while having a busy schedule:

Getting You and Your Parent Duties Organized

The first step is to get organized. List your parents’ needs—doctor appointments, meals, medications, housekeeping, transportation, etc. Figure out what you can handle directly and what you may need to outsource. If possible, share duties with siblings. Technology like shared calendars and medication reminders can help you coordinate care.

Consider Getting Help At Home For Better Care

Many seniors prefer to age in place at home. To make this work while you are busy, consider asking other family or friends to check in on your parent while working. Look into hiring home health aides for a few hours a day or week to assist with personal care, meals, and monitoring. Adult daycare centers provide socialization and activities for seniors during work hours.

Your Parent Moving In Together with You:

Moving them into your home may be an option if your parent requires more hands-on care. This allows you to monitor their needs directly while still working. Convert a spare room on the ground floor for accessibility. Discuss ground rules upfront and respect privacy. Accept that there will be an adjustment period. Seek respite care occasionally to prevent caregiver burnout – 39% of caregivers report mental and behavioral problems such as depression and substance abuse.

Consider Taking Your Loved One to a Nursing Home:

At some point, a nursing home might become necessary for seniors with advanced medical needs—tour facilities to get a feel for the environment and staff professionalism. Be alert for any signs of neglect, like untreated bedsores, weight loss, or bruising, which could indicate abuse. Report concerns directly to nursing home management and state health departments. If problems persist, consulting a nursing home abuse attorney may help get the issue properly addressed.

Unfortunately, elder abuse is a major issue – a recent study found that 1 in 10 nursing home residents suffer abuse of some form. 

Take Your Own Time To Avoid Caregiver Stress

Caregiver stress is very common – research indicates between 40-70% of caregivers experience burnout due to the physical and emotional demands of caregiving. So, don’t neglect your own needs when caring for parents. Eat well, exercise, and get regular medical checkups. Lean on family and friends for emotional support. Take occasional breaks from caregiving to recharge – look into adult day programs or short-term nursing home respite stays to cover while you get away. Staying healthy and rested and asking for help when needed will allow you to be the best caregiver, even while juggling a busy schedule.

Balancing work, family life, and elder care can be tiring. But with some creativity, teamwork, and planning, it is possible to ensure that aging parents are well cared for. Stay organized, utilize resources, and don’t neglect your self-care. With the right support, you and your loved one can get through this challenging but important time.

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