Are you acting as a caregiver for your aging parents? If you’re like most of us, you could be caring for them, if not now, at some point in the future.
How do you keep some semblance of balance in your life with the added responsibility you must take on, often unexpectedly, when an elderly parent needs care?
- Talk to your siblings: You’re not in this alone, even if it sometimes feels like it. If you have brothers or sisters, keep in close communication with them to discuss your parent’s care. If you’re an only child, talk to your friends or your spouse. You need support, too!
- Make sure your parent’s home is safe: You may need to install handrails, particularly in the bathroom, but possibly in other rooms as well. Check the smoke detector. Look at one that vibrates, or has a flashing light. The buzzer may not wake them if a fire occurs during the night.
- Visit your parent regularly: If this isn’t possible, there may be some support available through the government, or there are private agencies that can provide services from medication assistance, to driving your parent to appointments, or just popping in daily for a visit.
- Get to know your parent’s pharmacist: If your parent is seeing more than one doctor, the pharmacist might be the only one who knows all of the medications your parent is using.
- Have the “driving” talk: There may come a time when you’ll need to talk to your parent about no longer driving their car! If stiffness, impaired cognitive ability, and slowed reaction time have become a reality, they may have to give up their driver’s license.
- Look for Seniors Associations in your area: District Seniors’ Associations organize outings, classes, and more, specifically designed for seniors. This is a great way to get them out of the house, seeing other people. And check government programs for possible financial benefits your parent may be eligible for.
- Make sure they’re eating: Seniors living alone often lose interest in eating, or are unable to prepare meals for themselves. One solution may be to contact an organization such as “Meals on Wheels”. Meals can be delivered to the senior’s home, and in some cases “congregate” meals are available at seniors’ centres, providing not only food, but also social interaction.
If your parent has moved into your house, or into a care facility, talk to your home insurance provider. Most Canadian home insurance policies cover you (as the named insured) and any of your relatives living in the same household. Some policies will even extend coverage for your parent living in a care facility.
For more information on insuring your parent’s home or personal belongings, contact Square One at 1.855.331.6933.