- Regular communication is key.
- Quality time is gold.
- Ask for help from professionals.
- Create a tight support network.
- Monitor and keep your finances afloat.
As a businesswoman, you understand the importance of taking care of your family and extending the same level of support to parents in their later years. Caring for an elderly parent can be rewarding yet challenging. While it’s tempting to squeeze in some extra hours at work or take on additional projects, there is no replacement for quality time spent with aging loved ones. With that said, here are five tips to help busy professionals like yourself balance work and home life while providing comprehensive care to elderly parents.
1. Define Clear Lines of Communication
When caring for an elderly parent, communication is vital. Having honest conversations about their daily routine, healthcare needs, and overall well-being allows you to ensure they feel secure and satisfied with their situation. To ensure both of you are on the same page, establish a schedule for check-ins and regular updates. This will help reduce stress levels and build trust over time.
2. Prioritize Quality Time
Your elderly parent needs to know that you care about them and value the bond between you two. Spend quality moments engaging in meaningful conversations, playing board games, or just catching up on life events – it all matters! Even if it’s only a few hours per week, spending dedicated time with your parent can go a long way in creating solid memories and reinforcing the family connection.
Here are some ways how you can spend quality time with your elderly loved ones:
Weekly picnics and mealtimes
People love to eat, and sharing a meal is a great way to connect with others. If your elderly parent lives in a retirement home or long-term care facility, make it a point to join them for weekly picnics or mealtimes. This way, you can have regular quality time while enjoying delicious food! For example, you can plan a potluck picnic with other seniors or take your parent out for a special meal once in a while.
Attending religious services together
Religion can provide comfort and stability for many older people, so consider attending religious services together. Not only is this an easy way to show that you care, but it may also provide your parent with much-needed spiritual support. This will help your parent develop a stronger sense of belonging and feel more connected with the community.
Elderly loved ones are often the glue that holds a family together. Organize family reunions from time to time, so your parent can stay connected with other relatives and enjoy quality time with them. This may also be an opportunity for younger family members to learn about their grandparents’ life stories and family history. Celebrating Thanksgiving and the Christmas holidays with your parent is an incredibly excellent way to show them how much you care.
Game nights and outdoor events
Finally, everyone loves to have fun! Plan a few game nights and outdoor events, such as a mini golf or bowling outing, to keep your parent active and engaged. Playing sports together can be a fantastic bonding experience too. This will help counteract the effects of loneliness, isolation, and depression common among older adults. In addition, you can also take your parent on shopping trips or to the theater, so they can enjoy all the little joys life has to offer.
3. Seek Professional Support
Caring for an elderly parent is a big responsibility and sometimes overwhelming. Recognizing your limits and knowing when to seek professional help is essential. Utilizing hospice care is one of the best ways to support your loved ones, as it provides comprehensive physical, emotional, and spiritual support from qualified health professionals. Hospice care focuses on enhancing the quality of life and providing comfort to your loved one facing terminal illnesses.
4. Cultivate a Supportive Network
It’s essential to have emotional support from friends and family members throughout caring for an elderly parent. Find others who can relate to your situation and lean on them for advice when needed – it helps break down feelings of isolation and loneliness during difficult times. Some people find it helpful to join a caregiver support group, while others prefer to discuss things with close friends. Make sure you take care of your well-being by scheduling regular breaks and setting aside time for yourself.
5. Establish Stable Financial Grounding
As a businesswoman, you understand the importance of financial planning and stability. It’s essential to create a budget for your elderly parent and ensure they can access their funds when needed. Consider factors such as monthly expenses, healthcare costs, insurance coverage, and estate planning so you can prepare for any future issues that may arise. Caring for an elderly parent is still costly, but having a plan in place will give you (and your parent) peace of mind.
Caring for an elderly parent is both physically and emotionally taxing, but it can also be a rewarding experience if done correctly. By following these tips, you can ensure that your elderly parent remains comfortable while continuing to focus on your career. Remember to provide the necessary breaks to stay energized and motivated throughout the journey.