Caring for an Elderly Family Member: An Overview

The nation’s fourth-largest population of men and women aged 65 and older currently resides in Pennsylvania, which means that the number of families here who are looking for advice on how to care for an elderly parent or family member is also on the rise. While this process can feel a bit overwhelming at first, there are a number of community resources that can help you to navigate your way through providing care for an aging family member. Consider these three tips to help point you in the right direction.

Be Realistic about the Care You Can Provide

Many people strive to care for their parent or family member in their own homes, which is often an ideal situation. However, make sure that you can realistically manage their daily needs yourself or with the help of a spouse or others who currently live with you. If caring for your elderly parent in your own home will require you to quit your job, for example, you may need to consider more realistic options.

If you’re unsure of your ability to provide the care that your family member needs, hiring a healthcare professional to come into your home and offer additional help is one possible alternative.

Discuss Finances

Although it can be a touchy subject for some families, it’s crucial that you discuss financial matters openly and honestly with all parties involved. Are there other family members who have agreed to help with the cost of their care? Who is in charge of handling his or her bank account and other assets? These are conversations that need to be discussed upfront to ensure the best possible care for your family member.

Get Help with Legal Matters

Along with finances, legal matters that pertain to your elderly parent or family member are some of the most challenging aspects of taking on his or her care. But don’t let these things fall by the wayside because they seem like daunting tasks. If you’re not sure where to start, talk to an elder care lawyer or other knowledgeable professional for advice and help with estate planning, wills, care arrangements and costs, and retirement benefits.