10 Family Concerns When Dealing with Aging Parents
At its best, caring for an elderly parent can have immense rewards. Relationships can heal, bonds can grow stronger, fond memories can be revived. But it isn’t easy.
Dealing with an elderly parent encompass everything from day-to-day household matters to potentially life-threatening health crises that require urgent attention. You might worry constantly about your parent’s safety, feel concerned about changes in their behavior and wonder how you will balance these responsibilities with your own work and family, yet not know where to turn for advice. It’s only natural to feel overwhelmed.
That’s why at Arosa, it is our mission to bring you and your family the compassionate support you need and to guide you expertly through the myriad issues that can arise as a loved one ages. We know that the list of challenges on your mind is long. Our expert Life Care Managers are experts at addressing each of them.
Let’s take a look at the 10 most common concerns you may have when dealing with an elderly parent, and how Arosa can help you with them:
1. Living at a distance
It’s complicated to give your elderly parent the support and input they need when you live far away. You can’t be at their side at moment’s notice. You may not be given all of the details about their health and care, and may be getting conflicting information from friends, doctors, and significant others—which is unnerving and stressful. From a distance, it’s hard to coordinate medical appointments and other services your parent may need.
How Arosa can help: A Life Care Manager can serve as your local point of contact. He or she can take care of all aspects of your elderly parent’s care—including getting involved with the community, seeing friends and family, transportation to and from appointments, and being there for emergencies—and will keep you updated every step of the way.
2. Driving safety
Conversations with your elderly parents about safe driving—and the prospect of no longer driving when safety becomes a serious concern—can be emotionally charged. Often, they end in a stalemate. It’s only natural: like all adults, seniors may resent being told what they can and cannot do, especially by their children. And driving gives them autonomy, boosting their sense of independence. Giving it up might feel like a terrible loss.
How Arosa can help: As an objective third party with years of experience and training, a Life Care Manager can talk openly with your elderly parent about driving concerns, senior transportation options, and how to maintain independence and dignity without a car. They can offer a fresh perspective backed by the authority of years of experience, and help your family reach a satisfying solution.
3. Medication compliance
Do you worry about whether your elderly parent is taking their medications properly? Are you concerned that they may not be sticking to their medication schedule or taking the right doses? What about their many different medications, each prescribed by different doctors: do you wonder if anybody is managing the overall plan and keeping track of potential interactions? None of this is easy.
How Arosa can help: A Life Care Manager can help by communicating directly with your parent’s physicians and creating a seamless plan, including regular medication reminders, which ensures medications are being taken correctly.
Seniors who live alone are prone to loneliness and boredom, which can affect their emotional well-being and overall health. There’s nothing more vital to older adults than staying connected to the people they care about and engaged in the activities they enjoy.
How Arosa can help: Social engagement is one of the most important benefits of in-home care. A Life Care Manager will learn about your elderly parent’s hobbies and passions, both past and present, developing an authentic understanding of what makes them feel whole—what makes them smile. The Life Care Manager will then plan companion services, outings, activities, and more to keep them active and involved, helping them thrive.
5. Family conflicts
When parents age, lifelong family baggage can spill open. Siblings might find themselves in dispute over who carries most of the caregiving burden, or disagreeing with their parents and each other about which courses of action are best. Old sibling rivalries and feelings of envy and resentment may come up.
How Arosa can help: Siblings with strong and opposing views can benefit from the objective family coaching offered by an experienced professional. A Life Care Manager works on behalf of the whole family. He or she will help your family have constructive conversations about your elderly parent’s needs, create a plan that addresses them, and ensure that it’s put into action.
6. Hospital discharge
When an elderly loved one is discharged from the hospital, families often feel unprepared. It can happen quickly, leaving all sorts of issues up in the air: What’s the best way to coordinate information from multiple doctors? How do I arrange for home care after discharge? How do I ensure my parent has all the resources they need, including equipment, supplies, and medications?
How Arosa can help: A safe transition home after a hospitalization requires attention to multiple tasks in a short period of time. A Life Care Manager can coach your family through the entire hospital discharge process step by step. He or she will help you communicate with doctors and make the right decisions while ensuring that all the right services and equipment—from home care and medical devices to transportation and follow-up appointments—are provided and take place on time.
7. Caregiver burnout
Taking care of an elderly loved one can stretch you to the limit. You may be neglecting your own self-care or falling behind on obligations with your children, spouse, employer or friends. On top of that, constant caregiving can warp your relationship with the elderly loved one you are helping. You may even be starting to feel resentful, angry, or depressed. This is normal. Caregiver burnout is real.
How Arosa can help: Having the support of a Life Care Manager allows you to reclaim the relationship you had with your parent before you became their caregiver. A Life Care Manager will give you respite you need by providing home visits, regular communications, accompaniment to medical appointments, caregiver supervision, and much more.
8. A new medical diagnosis
A new medical diagnosis for your elderly parent can leave you feeling as though your world has been turned upside down. What does the diagnosis mean, exactly? How will it impact my parent? How will it impact me? Will I be able to arrange and oversee all the services and resources my parent needs?
How Arosa can help: A Life Care Manager has the training, expertise, and compassion to help your family cope. They can take on as much, or as little, of the new responsibilities a diagnosis brings as you would like, and can coordinate care to help you re-establish a sense of stability.
9. Moving to new location
Today’s seniors have many living options, ranging from at-home to assisted living communities and nursing home facilities. Do you know which one is best-suited to your elderly parent’s needs? And once a decision is made, how will you manage the logistics a move entails and ensure your loved one is settling in well while receiving the very best care?
How Arosa can help: A Life Care Manager with broad experience in this area will help by carrying out a thorough assessment of your loved one’s home care preferences and needs. He or she will walk you through the options, explaining the details of each one, and guide you in making the best decision. Thanks to the Life Care Manager’s objectivity and years of expertise, you will gain clarity and peace of mind
10. Resistance to care
It may be crystal clear to you that your elderly parent needs care. Your parent, however, may be extremely resistant to accepting any kind of help. Could your parent be in denial? Are they worried about losing control? Are they upset about the way aging is changing their life? The answer to all of these questions is likely “yes,” complicating the process of getting your parent the help they need.
How Arosa can help: Every situation is unique. Sometimes it takes an objective care professional to understand the root of a senior’s concerns, work through them, and find a constructive solution. A Life Care Manager can help your elderly parent sort through their care options in a positive, non-threatening manner so that they accept the help they need.