It’s Your Turn Now – Practical Guidance When Caring for Aging Mom

When you look back at your life, the one thing you may wonder about is how your mother cared for you through so many trials and tribulations while you were still at home. From around-the-clock feedings as an infant to the terrible twos and those rebellious teen years, your mother was a pillar of strength guiding you and helping you to become the woman you are today.

Now it’s your turn to take care of mom as she ages, and this is something for which few of us are prepared. It’s mom who’s always been there for us and now that the tables have turned, where can you go for guidance? Help is out there, so don’t despair.

Start with the National Council on Aging

One of the amazing aspects of living in the digital age is that you have amazing resources at your disposal. You can go online and find information about even the most obscure topics, of which aging isn’t one. With about 11,000 Boomers reaching senior years daily, this topic is anything but obscure. You might want to start with the National Council on Aging website. Here, you can find information for seniors and those responsible for the care of aging Americans. You will also be provided with links to outside sources you can follow to find information on a number of topics related to aging.

Hard Decisions Lie Ahead

When caring for a mother who is unable to safely care for herself, tough decisions need to be made. Can you give her the care she needs at home or do you need to find senior living alternatives like one of the new construction apartments at The Barclay at SouthPark senior living community in Charlotte North Carolina or nursing homes? You want to keep mom at home, but sometimes the demands of job and family don’t afford the time you need to spend caring for mom.

Your mom may be apprehensive at first about entering a senior living community but communities like Park Terrace at Greenway have so much to offer in the way of beautiful surroundings, active lifestyle, and so much more.

Perhaps mom is able to stay at home but needs support services regularly such as in-home care services that enable her to stay in the home she has lived in for many years and is most comfortable in. To learn more about whether this is a good option for your mother, you can read more here.

Keep Mom Active

After so many years of raising a family and perhaps doing so while holding down a career, suddenly mom is at a loss with no one to care for and no clock to punch. One thing you can do for your mother is to ensure that she stays active for as long as possible, as her health permits. There are senior centers in almost every city and town across the country that have activities for seniors to enjoy.

These activities are anything from daily lunches with other seniors and senior exercise classes to fun activities such as bingo and craft hours. Many senior centers also have buses available for those seniors who don’t drive. It’s amazing to learn about all the community services available for the elderly, but it just might take some legwork on your part to find out what’s available in your area.

When You Believe Your Mother Isn’t Acting Financially Responsible

This is often a huge concern for adult children of aging parents. There are so many ways in which people and organizations with nefarious intent prey on the elderly. If you feel your mother has been targeted and is perhaps making irresponsible financial decisions, it may be time to step in. However, this can be a touchy subject because your mother may not take readily to handing over her finances to you.

At some point, you may need to contact an attorney to find legal resources to help with your mother’s finances. A guardian may need to be appointed by the court, but if it is in your mother’s best interest to pursue this route, you may need to act on her behalf. Even so, to avoid strife, you may not want to handle that duty yourself. An attorney can help you find the right solution for your family’s particular circumstances.

Don’t Forget to Take Care of Yourself

With a busy life yourself, sometimes the demands of home and work are already stressful enough. Now your mother depends on you for strength and support, which only adds to your heavy load. One thing all caregivers are advised to do is to take time for themselves. It’s altogether too easy to get so wrapped up in caring for aging parents that you’ve little time to see to your own needs. Everyone needs a break, and that includes you!

This might be one of those times to find an in-home caregiver. If you wear yourself out, who will care for you and who will care for mom? At the very least, make sure you are eating a healthy diet, get plenty of rest, and take time off to spend doing something you love – or nothing at all, if that’s what you need.

Remember, You Are Never Alone

What you should understand by now is that you are not the only one taking an active role in caring for elderly parents. There are community groups and social services you can fall back on in many cases, and there are also support groups in most areas of the country. If you don’t know where to turn, you have tons of online resources to point you in the right direction.

With so many people reaching their senior years daily, services are being expanded by the hour. At one estimate, seniors will control approximately 70% of the nation’s disposable income within the coming years, so an increasing number of senior services will be made available in the future as well. Don’t feel like you need to battle uphill for your aging parents because help is out there.

Finally, consider those millions of other families facing the same challenges as you are, and you will realize you are never alone. From church groups to counseling, help is out there for you as well. Yes, it’s a difficult road that lies ahead but with so many resources, you needn’t face them alone.

Thanks to Fatima

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