By Mayo Clinic Staff
Adult children often serve as caregivers for aging parents. Although monitoring the health and independence of parents may seem daunting, there are steps you can take to ease stress and be well prepared.
Start with some basic questions. Are your parents safe in their home? Are they able to take care of daily tasks, such as shopping, driving and paying bills? How is their mood? Do your parents have trouble with mobility? Talk with your parents if you have any concerns about their health or safety.
As a caregiver, take time to prepare for emergencies. Make a list of your parents’ doctors and other health care team members. Write down their medicines, past surgeries, insurance information and other important medical details. Talk with them about their preferences for housing and long-term care. Discuss living wills and other legal documents that outline their wishes if, at some point, they cannot communicate.
Although caregiving can be rewarding, caregivers often face challenges. If you need a break from caregiving or would like assistance, ask family members or other loved ones for help. If you or your parents need services or support, contact organizations that provide caregiving resources in your community.
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Sept. 07, 2023
- Caregiver stress. Office on Women’s Health. https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/caregiver-stress. Accessed March 28, 2023.
- Advance care planning: Advance directives for health care. National Institute on Aging. https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/advance-care-planning-advance-directives-health-care. Accessed March 28, 2023.
- Caring for a person with Alzheimer’s disease: Your easy-to-use guide. National Institute on Aging. https://order.nia.nih.gov/publication/caring-for-a-person-with-alzheimers-disease-your-easy-to-use-guide. Accessed March 29, 2023.
- Frequently asked questions about caregiving. National Institute on Aging. https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/frequently-asked-questions-about-caregiving. Accessed March 29, 2023.