Old age is part of life’s journey. As your parents get old, they will not be able to handle many daily activities on their own, including their living arrangements, healthcare and finances. As their child, you are obligated to look after their health and ensure their affairs are managed carefully. It can be overwhelming for you having to manage your parents’ wellbeing and check on them regularly. Some parents can become incapacitated and require complete round the clock assistance.
This checklist for elderly parents will help you develop a plan and set priorities. It will guide you on the retirement housing arrangements. It will help you decide whether you need to hire a full-time caregiver or have your parents safely living at a retirement home. After all, you are the guardian for your parents and are the only one who will ensure their health and safety.
Even though your parents may be active at an old age, this checklist for elderly parents applies:
1. Living Arrangements
Ask yourself this question: Is the current living environment conducive for your parents’ health and wellbeing? If the answer is no, it is time to make other arrangements. Older parents may require assistance with their medication, doctor visits, and even managing chores around the home.
If your parents are struggling to survive on their own at home, it is time to find a retirement home. This type of home can take care of their daily activities and needs, including their healthcare. Many senior retirement homes help seniors with autonomy loss. These homes generally have all the facilities needed for dependent seniors.
However, if your parents do not plan on moving to a senior facility, then you want to ensure the home is adequately arranged for them to manage easily on their own.
The day will come when your parents can no longer handle their finance. However, it can be a lot of work managing your parent’s finances when they get old. They may even need financial support at some point.
Don’t stress as it may be some time before your parents might need financial help. So, it is best to ask as early as possible to understand their financial situation. This way, you get them onto a secure financial plan for their old age. You can discuss this matter with your siblings to ensure all are in favor of the program as it may involve chipping in a bit.
You can personally ensure the healthcare of your parents, but in today’s busy world, you may not be able to commit the time beyond your schedule. You can consider a caregiver who will attend to your parents’ needs.
Although caregivers can manage your parent’s healthcare regime, there are times you might have to get involved with health decisions. You will have to ensure they are visiting a doctor to monitor health conditions. In your checklist for elderly parents, you also have to make sure your parents are taking their daily prescribed medication.
Medical insurance is a vital part of every checklist for elderly parents. There may be other essential insurances to maintain as property insurance in case of theft or fire. Your parents would probably already have this in place, but it is always good to make sure it is valid and regularly renewed.
5. Doctor Visits
Unfortunately, old age requires routine medical checkups. Believe it or not, older parents will start to be reluctant to visit their doctor regularly because they think they are fine. Often, they skip doctor appointments due to fear.
You need to make sure both parents are visiting the doctor regularly. Your parents may have high cholesterol, diabetes or high blood pressure. They need regular checkup to keep these conditions from getting worse. You may even have to stay in touch with the doctor to be informed of any alarming medical conditions.
6. Schedule Management
Maintain a schedule for your elderly parents. This will keep them proactive and on track with all their requirements such as medication, doctor visits and social activities. To create an active schedule, make a list of all priorities.
You can use this checklist for elderly parents to create a daily plan. The program should clearly list specific times for all daily tasks starting from their morning medication to their shower at night. Give this schedule to your parents so that they can use it as a regular reference. The schedule will make sure your parents do not miss any essential activities. The schedule will also help to prevent any conflicting appointments.
7. Emergency Assistance
Make a list of all emergency contacts your parents will need. Set up a phone button alarm for your parents, which should automatically signal you or one of your siblings in an emergency.
You can create an emergency kit which will contain the important contact names and numbers, medical records, medical tracker, first aid kit, doctor records, medical card and copies of other relevant documents. This should be easily accessible in times of an emergency.
8. Social Activities
Social activities may reduce over time, as your parents find it challenging to travel and move around. However, as long as they can, they must keep themselves occupied with community activities.
Staying active and even volunteering will eliminate boredom or loneliness. You and your siblings may want to research some suited social events that will keep your parents engaged and active.