Do You Have What You Need To Be The Primary Caregiver For Your Parents?

A common concern for many adults is who is going to care for their aging parents. The thought of placing their parents in a nursing home is distressing. However, the thought of trying to care for their aging parents in addition to handling a career, raising their children, and taking care of their home is overwhelming for many people.

In some cases, the health of a parent deteriorates over time allowing you to prepare to become a caregiver.  Unfortunately for many people, a sudden health crisis or accident requires them to jump right into being the primary caregiver for their parent. If only they had more time to prepare for the changes and additional responsibilities created by the situation.

What Does It Take to Be a Fulltime Caregiver?

Preparation and planning allow you to guarantee that you and your loved one will have the best quality of life possible if you need to take on the role of caregiver. The first step is to analyze your current situation to determine if you are capable of becoming a caregiver. You need to take an honest and thorough look at the following five areas to determine if you are ready to become a caregiver for your parent.

  • Availability — Do you have the flexibility with your job and other family responsibilities to be available for your parent on a regular basis?
  • Physical Ability — Do your health and physical abilities allow you to provide the physical support (i.e. lifting, bathing, etc.) your loved one needs? Can you take care of the household chores for your parent?
  • Skills — Do you have the skills you need to be a caregiver? If your parent requires special medical care such as dialysis or injections, are you ready and able to provide this care?
  • Financial Ability — Being a caregiver can have a huge impact on your finances. Do you have the financial flexibility you need to care for a parent?
  • Emotional Capacity — Becoming a full-time caregiver for your parent can be an emotional process. Depending on your parent’s condition, your parent could become hostile, depressed, or helpless. This could cause you to suffer a great deal of emotional stress.

Planning for Whatever is Needed

Proactive planning for your parent’s future needs can reduce the stress and financial hardship of trying to become your parent’s full-time caregiver. By discussing what may lie ahead and the steps you can take to help you and your parent be prepared as possible, you and your parent can reduce or avoid some problems that children and their parents face when dealing with the need for a caregiver. Planning for becoming your parent’s caregiver can reduce the frustration and complications of dealing with medical professionals, healthcare providers, insurance companies, and other parties.

For example, to help you care for your parent’s health needs, you and your parent should discuss your parent executing a living will and a healthcare proxy. These documents give you the authority to make decisions regarding your parent’s healthcare.

In addition, you need to discuss your parent’s finances. You must know the details of your parent’s finances to be his or her caregiver. Your parent should consider executing a power of attorney and other financial documents that give you the ability to control and manage your parent’s finances. Your discussion should include applying for Medicaid and Medicaid planning in the event your parent must enter a nursing home.

Working with an estate planning attorney or elder care attorney can help you prepare for any situation that could arise when you become your parent’s caregiver.

Ask for Help!

Even if you do not have family or friends in the area, you can still find help from local support groups, national organizations, state resources, and other community groups. As you work with your parent, remember that this transition is very difficult for your parent. Losing your ability to care for yourself and your independent is an extremely emotional journey. Try to be as patient as possible as you go through this process and remember that you and your loved one can work together to find solutions that work best for your entire family.

Call The Elder Care Firm of Christopher J. Berry, CELA For More Information

If you have questions about long-term care for your loved one, we can help. Contact our office by calling 888-390-4360 or use our online contact form to request more information or schedule an appointment with an elder care or estate planning attorney.

For your convenience, we have offices in Brighton, Livonia, Novi and Bloomfield Hills,  to better serve our clients in Livingston, Oakland, Washtenaw, and Wayne Counties.

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