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Monday, 19 June 2017 02:00

The Only 2 Ways to Save your Family’s Sanity When Caring for Elderly Parents

Looking after elderly parents, especially if they have dementia can be stressful and oftentimes incredibly trying. But there are areas of constant contention that can be avoided with just two life changing conducts. Here they are.

Get all paperwork in order

Your parents need a living will. Medical treatment is expensive and it is also scary. Making decisions about medical care is one of the most common areas of dispute among families. A living will is a legal document outlining who is entitled to make these decisions and how it will be paid for, if the person requiring the care cannot do it for themselves.

Often, the elderly with dementia will simply refuse to see a doctor or agree to take medication. This is more likely to be borne out of fear than stubbornness, and handing over these decisions to someone they trust elicits a far more positive response to medical issues that arise.

Hold regular family meetings

The role of carer tends to falls on the family member closest to where the person requiring the care lives. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they have the most amount of time and usually becomes something that they have to juggle within their own lives. Suddenly they are not only working full time or ferrying kids to extra murals, but they are also visiting, filling prescriptions, checking that medication is being taken, and cooking for an elderly parent.

The resultant stress of this overload often leads to family disputes and resentment. Holding regular family meetings to discuss how each person can share the role of carer can ease stress and eliminate bad feelings within the family. One person can offer physical care while another can deal with accountants and lawyers. Even family members who live abroad can join the meeting via Skype and can participate in caring by doing online grocery shopping once a week. Modern technology has eliminated all excuses to not be involved no matter where you are. 

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