Many of us are dealing with aging parents and see their needs change along with their quality of life as it begins to decline. According to the National Alliance for Caregiving/AARP Public Policy Institute, “The typical caregiver is a 49-year-old female, currently caring for a 69-year-old female relative who needs care because of a long-term physical condition”.1
Sometimes the decline is gradual and we can balance the additional caregiving needs. Other times, we are placed into a role of caregiver almost instantaneously through a fall or accident of a loved one. Yet, we want to keep our parents safe as they age and maintain quality of life as much as possible.
Many decisions will need to be considered with an aging parent whose care needs begin to change. Whether the decline is gradual or from a fall or injury, a parent or loved one may need additional assistance with activities of daily living (ADL). Such as help with bathing, getting dressed, eating, walking (transferring), continence and/or toileting.
Also, it is important to think about whether your parent is still a safe driver. Has their reflexes, hearing and cognitive abilities slowed down and is possibly affecting their driving ability? It may be time to access their driving to keep them safe on the road.
If you are in a new caregiving role with your parents, there is so much to learn to keep them safe and manage new responsibilities regarding their care.
Tips to ease caregiving challenges: 2
A caregiver can also seek out community programs through the National Council on Aging (NCOA) benefit checklist for additional assistance and resources to help with caregiving. When possible, it is good to prepare and address needs before they arise. Developing a care plan is helpful to guide you through the many changes in needs and comfort.
At Live your LifeTM we provide a wide range of services to help keep individuals safe and independent in their home. We offer physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, personal training, acupuncture, massage therapy, health coaching along with dietary services.
We are here to help your loved ones and can make recommendations for services not offered,
Dr. Eva Norman
President & Founder
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Live Your Life TM
Bringing Physical Therapy & Wellness to You!
1 The Typical Caregiver. http://www.caregiving.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Caregiving-in-the-US-2015_Typical_CGProfile.pdf Accessed on August 10, 2016
2 13 Secrets That Make Caregiving Easier
August 8, 2016.
3 Can I get Help? https://www.benefitscheckup.org/ Accessed on August 8, 2016.