Caring for a Loved One

Most of us reach a point in life when our independence weakens. There’s no shame in needing some help. Caring for a loved one can add stress and is a big responsibility. We’re here to help lighten the load.

Here are some things to remember when assuming responsibility for the well-being of a loved one.

Open the Lines of Communication

Talk with other family members about how you will care for your loved one. The key is conversation now, rather than crisis management later.

Discuss Big Topics at an Early Age

Living wills, retirement communities, end of life care. Discuss these topics when your loved one is still functional — meaning he or she in is in good mental and physical health.

Support Comes in Many Shapes and Sizes

If one person is chosen to be the primary caregiver for a parent, the siblings should think about how they can provide indirect support, whether it’s by pitching in with paperwork, finance management or other areas.

Understand the Finances of the Situation

Talk to a financial professional about finances if you are caring for an aging parent on your own. The financial aspects of caring for an aging parent need to be taken into consideration for the sake of your parent, but also for your own sake.

When Help Doesn’t Come

If the productive discussion before a crisis strikes doesn’t happen, and one child is left in charge with no support from his or her siblings, the key is still communication. Reaching out to your siblings or other family members for support is a better option than trying to take on the situation entirely on your own.

Other Considerations

During this time when health concerns present a daily challenge, remember to help your loved one brush his or her teeth or use mouth rinse daily to limit the amount of bacteria that may enter the blood stream and cause further health problems. It’s amazing how a clean mouth can enhance overall health, not to mention self-esteem. And the best part is that home dental care is easy, accessible and affordable.