As parents age, physical and mental decline is an inevitable fact of life. Adult children will usually be faced with the prospect of caring for their elderly parents at some point.

Before this life-altering transition occurs, it’s prudent to consider what’s involved. Having conversations with all of the parties involved will also help prepare everyone for what’s coming.

Caring for senior parents must include protecting their physical, emotional, and mental well-being as they live out the final years of their lives.

Learn the physical and social signs it is time for assisted living.


Activities of Daily Living

Some activities are necessary to perform every day to ensure a person’s general well-being, including their physical and emotional health. If health issues make it impossible to perform these activities, a caregiver will need to provide assistance.

  • Self-care activities may include feeding, dressing, bathing, personal grooming, toilet hygiene, and moving about the home.
  • Some self-care activities may be easier with adaptive equipment and accessories, such as a walker, a shower chair, and a lift chair.


Instrumental Activities Of Daily Living

Other types of daily activities are not mandatory, but they are connected with independent living. Assisting with these instrumental daily activities might be assigned to a family member or professional caregiver.

  • Instrumental activities include cooking meals, cleaning, shopping, running errands, paying bills, answering the phone, and taking medications.
  • Some activities need to be performed daily, while others might be done weekly or even monthly.
  • Some tasks can be performed with the help of technology, such as answering the phone or paying bills.


Living Arrangement Options

Living arrangements for elderly parents depend on factors including their budget, their health, and the ability of adult children to provide daily care. Living arrangements may change as aging progresses.

  • A senior citizen may prefer to age at home for as long as possible, maintaining their independence and privacy.
  • Living with relatives is a solution for many families, making it possible for elderly parents to receive both care and companionship.
  • Some seniors choose to move to communities where they can get help with housekeeping and meals. Medical support is usually not provided in these communities.
  • Assisted living communities may offer a step up in services, including help with personal care, medication, and transportation.
  • Nursing homes provide around-the-clock medical care for aging parents who need either short- or long-term care.


Financial Concerns

Finances will be a major factor in how adult children care for aging parents. Some seniors may be eligible for government assistance. Caregivers may also be eligible for tax relief by claiming an elderly parent as a dependent.

  • Elderly parents can receive free tax assistance in some cases.
  • Disability benefits may help to cover some care expenses.
  • Some insurance policies will also help with expenses.


Further Reading