Advance planning when caring for an elderly parent


July 30, 2010

Many baby boomers across the country are now taking care of aging parents and, whether these family members are staying in their own homes or moving to a more age-friendly residence, it’s important to plan the proper steps for this process, according to the Sun Times.

Caretaking responsibilities may happen gradually or all at once. “First, we’re shopping for them. Then we’re taking them to doctors’ appointments… and then we’re helping them find a place to live and making sure their bills are paid and their finances are in order,” finance expert Eric Tyson told the news source.

He recommends that adult children make plans far in advance for these new duties. Individuals should build a strong network of others who are also caring for aging parents, so support is always available. Besides aiding a parent in day-to-day tasks, one should also evaluate long-term medical and housing options.

One 60-year-old boomer who cares for her 92-year-old mother told the news source that she would spend all day at work worrying whether her parent was okay, since in-home care wasn’t affordable.

Adult children who are worried about the welfare of an elderly parent who is living alone could also invest in a personal emergency response system. This technology will ensure that a senior is connected with caretakers, even when alone.