– Don’t wait for a crisis. You can make more informed choices if you are not also reacting to an emergency, such as a fall or a stroke.
– Avoid role reversal. Even though you will be caring for them, you are not your parent’s parent. They will make their own choices and you have to respect that, even if you do not agree with their choice.
– Find out what resources are available. The Family Caregiver Alliance provides a database of publicly funded caregiving resources in every state. You can also use a service of the National Council on Aging at www.benefitscheckup.org
– Manage from afar. There are many resources now for children who live farther away from their parents. You can find information about agencies in your parent’s area through the Eldercare Locator.
Something new that has come around in recent years are geriatric managers who help families coordinate the care of their loved ones. They usually charge by the hour and are willing to check in on your family members and help you manage and monitor their care. You can find one near you at www.caremanager.org.
Stay tuned as we bring you more news from this series. You can also check out the full series here.