Transitioning from being taken care of to caring for yourself is jarring enough. Transitioning from being independent, and even caring for others, to needing constant care is another issue entirely. Age has a way of taking our independence from us and making us feel like we aren’t in control. That we aren’t ourselves. It is that very helplessness that makes deteriorating health so frustrating and terrifying.
Thankfully, you can do something to help your aging loved ones from feeling this helplessness. Through proper preparation, you can help your loved ones get back on their feet and feel like themselves again; you just need to help them by following these steps:
Help Them Prepare Financially
Outliving one’s savings is one of the worst outcomes possible because by the time they have run out they are likely far too old to consider obtaining new employment. That means they are left to rely on state Medicare and state facilities or become entirely dependent on their children. This lack of independence is very hard on anyone, which is why one of the things you can do to help your aging loved one is to help them prepare financially. This could mean working with them to put their house up not for sale, but for rent. It could also mean working them to ensure their savings are in the best place possible, and it could mean helping them downsize and budget so that they won’t ever have to worry about outliving their savings.
Move Them Closer to You
If you have a spare room in your home, you could move your aging loved one there, or you can simply help them find a nice place within their budget near you. A great option is a retirement building, which is essentially a community of independent seniors, or a retirement home, which offers around-the-clock assistance. What is important is that they approve of their move and that it is their decision that you respect.
Help Them Adjust to New Lifestyle Changes
Another way that you can help them prepare for old age is to help them make new, healthy habits. Though a healthy lifestyle should be adopted as soon as possible, that isn’t always the case. There is no better time to improve, however, than right now. Help them improve their diet. Join them on walks in the morning to help them stay active, and even encourage them to sign up for senior-friendly exercise classes, which help boost their muscle mass and improve their bone density. The more you can join them on their lifestyle journey, the better you can support them.
Join the CDPAP Program
If you already know that your loved one will require around-the-clock medical support, consider joining the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP) at FreedomCare. What this program does, essentially, is that it puts the power of choice into your loved one’s hands. This means that they can choose for you, as their child, sibling, or friend (but not spouse) to receive on-site training and even compensation through Medicare. It’s the best way to support your loved one while supporting yourself, but they must first enroll.
Preparing for older age is the best way your loved one can enjoy their golden years. Help them prepare by supporting them through their lifestyle changes, by helping them finance better, and even more directly by becoming their caretaker.