Aging & Eldercare: 5 Things to Consider Before Becoming a Family Caregiver

It’s human nature to want to help the people we love, especially as they age. Here are five important things to consider before taking on more caregiving for your older family members.

What does your loved one want and need?

Your goals: Figure out the help they may need or want with daily living activities like eating and bathing, feeling engaged and staying independent. Get an idea of how their medical conditions impact their ability to be safe living on their own.

What do their healthcare providers say?

Your goals: Discover the level of location of care recommended by your loved one’s primary care provider and specialists. Factor this information into what you learned in step one.

Could a hearing test reduce your loved one’s risk of falling?

How can you care for your aging parent without losing yourself?

Your goals: Assess your ability to take care of yourself and other family members already in your care. Learn how your employer handles time off for family responsibilities.

See how prolonged stress impacts your health.

What is your and your family member’s financial situation?

Your goals: Determine how family caregiving could impact your income and expenses. Consult your banker, CPA or financial advisor about your status and options. Learn more about your loved one’s financial resources.

Learn two important ways to cut the cost of caring.

How can family members assist?

Your goals: Reduce family disputes about caring for elders. Set expectations for family involvement. Identify ways family members can help with caregiving. Create peace of mind for everyone.

Being prepared to take on family caregiving responsibilities is the best way to be successful at it. Use these considerations to make a plan that serves your aging loved ones, other family members and yourself.