As a person ages and begins to need assistance for day to day activities, it tends to be a close family member that steps in to assume the management of their care. This could be everything from transportation assistance, to arranging for long-term care, managing medications, or encouraging them to be active. Assuming the role of caregiver for an aging parent while maintaining the responsibilities of your own life can feel overwhelming at the moment.
In many cases, family members find themselves taking on a lot of the burden of caring for aging parents. Trying to help your older parents can bring up an array of issues that you might not be prepared to address. As your parent’s age, getting them the rehabilitation therapy they need can be difficult. You might not know where to start, or you might feel like you’re alone in your quest to find a quality post-acute care center. Plus, what do you do if your parents balk at their obvious need for help?
The truth is that every situation is unique, so there’s no cookie-cutter answer for everyone. Your parents’ health and their particular needs are as individual as they are, so you’ll want to give them the best post-acute rehab care possible. We understand that your goal is to help your parents live their best life to their fullest functional potential after suffering a life-altering medical event.
When caring for a loved one requires a stay in a skilled nursing facility after a medical procedure or injury, let South Coast Post Acute help. Our post-acute rehabilitation care center can take some of the anxiety off your hands and bridge the gap for you.
When you’re caring for your aging parent and handling the pressures of your other responsibilities, it can leave you feeling very uncertain about your schedule. You might feel like there isn’t enough time in the day to get everything accomplished. Or, you might worry that your parent feels abandoned. At South Coast Post Acute, we understand and are here to help. Every day just about ten thousand members of the Boomer generation turn 65 and many have aging parents who still require varying levels of care.
Here are a few ways you can continue to give valuable care to your loved one while still making sure you take time for yourself as well.
Advocate on the Aging Parent’s Behalf
Elderly parents might have difficulties articulating their needs and wants. When you advocate for your parents that means you have a good grasp of whatever treatment is currently underway and what they might need in the future. Knowing their medications, doctors, and upcoming appointments are only half of this equation. The other part is really understanding their condition. Speaking with our trained, skilled nursing staff can help you get a better idea of what’s going on in the life of your parents. When you’re armed with this knowledge, you’re better equipped to make smart, informed decisions about their health and well-being. Remember that elder advocacy isn’t always met with appreciation. Sometimes, your parents might want to take a more active role in the management of their long-term care. We recommend you encourage their independence but also double-check to make sure nothing has slipped through the cracks.
Involve the Aging Parent’s Family Members
Remember to keep in mind, you do not have to do this alone. Our staff has an entire team of colleagues to help offer the best care possible to your aging parent. You should consider taking the same approach, which means involving other family members and accepting that you’re not able to do everything on your own. You can’t take all the responsibility and still function in your own life. Stay connected by email updates about your parent’s condition to your siblings. This is a great way to make sure everyone stays up to date on the most recent developments. Connectivity and communication make it easier to coordinate visits and share in the responsibilities of care. Communication is key here, remember that it’s okay to ask for help from time to time. It might also be a good idea to set up a text chat in advance of any significant medical procedures or events. This way, everyone knows what’s going on, and it’s not left to you to send out all of the updates.
Empathize With Your Aging Parents
It’s easy to get frustrated when caring for your aging parent if you don’t understand their decision-making process. Sometimes aging parents can express their own frustrations through moody behavior or neediness, which makes it even more difficult for you to tend to their care. It’s imperative that you take the time to consider their perspective as aging is a series of losses. It is important to consider how you would feel if you were in their position.
Choosing what to say and when to say it is very important when dealing with aging parents. It might be that your parents are struggling with the acceptance of help or feel like they don’t need to be in a skilled nursing facility. Empathize with them, but try to keep all of your treatment-related discussions centered around the positive benefits of being at a post-acute care center. It’s crucial that you remind your parents that you’re looking out for their well-being, long-term health, and most of all their safety.
Show Compassion for your Aging Parent
Be compassionate to your parents’ feelings and needs without being patronizing. Your role in the family may continue to shift as your parent ages. It might feel like it’s the reverse of what you’ve always known, but remember that your parents are still your parents. When you assume the role of caregiver, you might be tempted to speak to your parents as if they were children. However, it’s important to remember when you manage your tone, you’re able to offset many potential areas for disagreement before they become an issue.
Encourage Daily Activity for your Aging Parent
Daily activity is a cornerstone of good health, which is especially true following a post-acute injury. It’s very important that your aging parent stays active. Studies show that daily activity helps to improve mood, endurance, balance, and it can aid in the decline of cognitive deficits. At South Coast Post Acute, we have several programs that help encourage socialization and interaction with others. Groups range from mildly active arts and crafts to more vigorous walking as well as group tours.
Prevent Problems Ahead of Time
Offering specific suggestions about items or tasks will help prevent issues before they become serious. Having a plan in place to provide for your parents’ needs is a significant component in making sure they have the best post-acute rehab plan formed. If you have practical solutions for any problems that might arise, your parents will likely be more receptive to getting help.
Support the Struggle
Sometimes aging parents are often in denial that there’s a problem at all and it can be difficult for parents to admit they need help. With that difficulty comes the resistance to remain in a skilled nursing facility for an extended period as they may feel they will lose their independence.
The truth is that aging is a fact of life, and it’s going to affect your family at some point. As an adult of aging parents, it might be difficult to imagine your parents needing post-acute care. You may not fully comprehend what the next stages of your parent’s life are going to be like or how it will affect you. Ultimately, you’re going to take on some type of caregiver role for your parents, even if you don’t live with them or provide daily care. Something to keep in mind is that caring for your aging parent doesn’t have to be a burden or a load of responsibility that you handle alone. Finding the right skilled nursing facility is part of that equation. Remember that you’re not alone in this, and we’re here to help.
Do Your Aging Parents Need to be in a Skilled Nursing Facility?
When a loved one suffers a severe fall, medical trauma, or other injuries, they may need to live in a rehabilitation therapy center for a period of time. It might sound daunting, but a post-acute center is a rehab service that’s offered in a residential setting instead of a clinical setting. Sometimes an aging parent’s needs are apparent immediately, but most often, the needs happen gradually, over some time. Watching for changes in your parent’s behavior is a good indicator that it might be time to step in and assume the role of caregiver. Once you understand the specifics of the situation, you’re better positioned to develop the right sort of plans.
If your parent has impaired mobility or health issues that interfere with activities of daily living, know that the trusted staff at South Coast Post Acute will help care for them in a tender, loving way. The dignity of your parents hinges on their physical and emotional well-being, which means being able to complete activities of daily living as independently as possible.
At South Coast Post Acute, we know that each person comes to us with a different story. That’s why we’re committed to treating every one of our residents like family.
Contact us today to learn more about southern California’s choice for skilled nursing, rehabilitation therapy, and post-acute care.
Real People. Remarkable Care. South Coast Post Acute.