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10 Common Life Issues You'll Face When Caring for an Aging Parent

Apr 27, 2017

Aging Parents

10 Common Life Issues You'll Face When Caring for an Aging Parent

Elderly care is the highest calling of a person's life. A lot of personal and professional sacrifice goes into taking care of your aging parents in the time of their need. It costs you time, money, and your personal experiences. Eventually, it starts giving you the feeling of bitterness and regret as you spend more time caring for them. This can create ill will towards the very person you love and have pledged to help.

Here's a list of top 10 common life issues that you face going with elderly care.

Financial Issues

  • Treatment & Medical Expenses: This is perhaps the most costly area on your finance when it comes to elderly care. Diseases like shortness of breath, memory lapse, wavering balance, etc., that are commonly found in aged people are available with no permanent treatment and keep eating away at your finances. Long prescriptions by doctors increase the medical bill as well. If your parents were modest enough to buy a health insurance for themselves, then it can be a life saver.

  • Nursing Expenses: No matter which way you go, providing elderly care to your parent at home, or admitting them in an old age care facility, both will cost you dearly. However, it is better to employ a nurse than to stay at home with your parents, as it can even cost you your job.

  • Exhaustion of Savings: Your entire life's savings goes into this. If your parent had some sort of retirement plan, or health insurance in his name, then it can be a lifesaver for you. Otherwise, even your savings and investments can go into this.

Professional Issues

  • Can Lose the Job: Individuals who are responsible for the elderly care of their parents face this problem regularly. Frequent absence in the office for the purpose of your parent's elderly care raises the eyebrows of your employer on you. If it comes that you lose your job on this, it wouldn't be just a loss of your current income but a damage to your retirement savings as well.

  • With Job Goes the Other Benefits As Well: If you lose your job, you lose the other benefits as well. Health Insurance, life insurance, disability plan, other term insurances, and various types of allowances, all are lifesavers for your retirement, and replacing them would be very costly.

Relational Issue

  • Stubbornness Hampers the Relation: More problems occur if your parent isn't supporting you in their care taking. Some parents tend to be stubborn at old age and they refuse to take medicines, or follow the prescriptions. It only elevates the caregivers problems. Not only that, it can hamper your relationship with the person.

  • Issues With Siblings: A very common issue among the children of the old-aged care needing person. The rift arises on the question of who will be the primary care provider(s) and what support other family members can provide. Since this is a role that can progress to more than a full-time job, this is an important decision.

Social & Personal Life Issue

  • Social Interaction Decreases: In many cases, it costs the caregiver's social life. You don't know when and what kind of need arises for your aged parent. It bars you from going away from them. This way it decreases the number of your outside activities.

  • Mental Torture: All your financial, professional, social and relational issues build up in your head and can cause you problems. It causes great mental and physical deterioration to your health as well. In some cases, people have reported to start taking anti-depression pills which is grave.

  • Meaning of Life: People who devote their life in caring for their aged parents start questioning the meaning of life for them. They tend to fall into depression as they keep spending more time staying at home and taking care for their parents than they should be spending on other things.

Tips to Minimize the Damages

  • Make Your Budget: Make a list of your financial resources and your parent's financial resources as well, and analyze how together they might be better used to support care giving activities.

  • Look for Free or Low-cost Public Benefits: Check for the public benefits provided by the government for the elderly care. Government's eldercare locator, The National Council on Aging's https://www.benefitscheckup.org, and the National Association for Area Agencies on Aging's extensive information on care giving can help in identifying and getting help with care giving tasks.

  • Take Professional Help: If you and your parent's needs are complex and challenging, you can hire a care giving professional agency like Newport Home Care that provides comprehensive care services like respite care, Alzheimer's care, personal and care hygiene, and end-of-life care services, etc. You can also draft a care plan with them according to your various needs and your budget constraints.

  • Talk With Your Parent: Sit with your parent and talk with him/her patiently on his/her situation. Show him that you understand his/her situation and try to convince him into supporting you in their care giving. It will help in easing the pressure on you.

  • Make Your Own Retirement Plan: Take care of your future too and design your own retirement plan so that you don't have to depend on your child for your care taking at least in terms of financial help.

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