What to Know About Being a Caregiver for Your Parent

For many families, making use of nursing facilities or hired in-home caregivers simply isn’t an affordable option. If your parent has already suffered from one or more medical problems, you may be wondering what you can do to help. Adults in this position may need to step in and personally ensure that their parent is healthy and happy. If you’re conducting research on what to know about being a caregiver for your parent before you take on this responsibility, here are a few things you should consider.

Caregiving Is Demanding

Becoming the primary caregiver for your parent means dedicating time, resources, and energy to their welfare. Frequent medical visits drain hours out of the day, and adjusting to an additional person in your home is undeniably exhausting. You will have to decide if this is a process you are capable of handling before you opt to become your parent’s caregiver. Fortunately, if you do take on the responsibility, there are resources available to help you in all the difficult aspects, from support groups to financial options.

Caregivers Can Receive Compensation

If your parent needs assistance with multiple activities that impact their quality of life, like showering or getting around the house, you may be able to receive compensation for helping them. Plans like Medicaid can pay in-home caregivers an hourly wage to help maintain the financial stability and well-being of you both. However, your income, your loved one’s income, the state you live in, and many other factors can impact your eligibility to be a paid caregiver.

You May Need to Train

Caregivers don’t always need to play the role of nurse for their loved one, but there are bound to be times when that kind of assistance is necessary. If you will spend most of the time as your parent’s primary caregiver, it is in your best interest to seek caregiver training programs as early as possible.

Many free programs exist that can fill new caregivers in on the legal, financial, and medical aspects of the work and help prepare them for what’s to come. Finding a program that specializes in your parent’s needs, such as Alzheimer’s and memory care, will be especially helpful.

Another thing to know about being a caregiver for your parent is that you don’t necessarily need to be the primary caregiver to remain involved. Even from a distance, children of aging parents can help their parents adjust to medical, financial, and social changes by frequently reaching out. By remaining a resource that your parents can rely on, you can help them thrive without sacrificing your own financial or mental well-being.