Nowadays, people are living much longer. That means we are going to need care as we live out the autumn years. However, the economy has not been in the best of shape. You might have to make some cuts in your life. The care of the elderly should not be one of them. But still, you are going to have to make the most of caring for your parents. Here are five budget-friendly tips that will help your family take care of your older parents.
Learn Your Parent's Daily Routine
As we get older, we settle into the familiar. There are reasons for this. Maybe your parents' physical abilities are declining. Maybe their mental states are failing. It could be a combination of both. Something familiar could help make life much easier. If you are going to be the new caretaker, you are going to have to learn what they do every day. What is their diet like? What activities do they do on a regular basis? Sit and write down everything you observe. This will help you make decisions on important things, like medications and health. For individuals aged 50 or older, it's important to add an Omega-3 supplement to their daily regimen. Knowing how to help your parents stay healthy within their daily routines can help you prepare for the worst in case something unexpectedly changes.
Consider Your Parent's Health Insurance Policy
For U.S. citizens aged 65 and older, Medicare is the federal health insurance program utilized to go to the doctor, see specialized medical professionals, and obtain prescription medications. However, there are several health insurance plans and policies under Medicare that you must understand, as your parents are under one of them. Once you have a clear understanding of what your parents' medical limitations are, you will be able to put together a clear budget when it comes to taking care of them in their older age.
Create a Budget That Works for Your Entire Family
It's important to create a budget that works for your own family as well as your parents. Sit down with the family and make a list of everything that you need. Set aside money for groceries, appointments, house expenses, car expenses, beauty expenses, and fun money. Now, look at beauty expenses and fun money. These are the things that can usually be cut. Do you really need to have your hair done every day? About 85% of men have significantly thinning hair by the age of 50, and many women don't particularly love their greying hair as they age, either. You might not need to have your hair done every month. This is just an example, of course. Once you have the budget worked out, you will know what to do next.
Hire Help Through a Government Agency
Sometimes, you are going to need some extra help. Don't be ashamed to turn to a government agency for help. Many people at some point in their life turn to the government to help them out. You can easily get help for caring for your elderly parent. Several agencies across the nation can be covered by insurance or have financing options you can look over. There are even ways you can get paid for caring for your elderly parent or parents if their health is in poor condition and you can't work because of it. Stress can be taken off of your shoulders when money isn't as much of an issue when seeking care for your older parents.
Think About Long-Term Care Options and Expenses
Sometimes, you can't do it on your own for a long time. You are going to have to sit down and see what you need to do. You might have to turn to a home to place your elderly parents in. If you are going to do that, you are going to have to know if they have a good reputation and the skills to take care of them. Some older people have worked in careers that lead to lasting damage. For example, they might have worked near chemicals in a factory job of some sort. In fact, the EPA has a list of 140 chemicals that, when stored in large enough quantities, require their owners to submit a risk management plan to federal regulators.
Long-lasting health problems are an issue among older adults who smoked and/or worked in hazardous working conditions throughout their lives. Because of this, your elderly parents may require around-the-clock care from doctors and nurses. If you can't do that alone, look into a home for an affordable price. You can find hundreds of options online, so start looking into the best ones for your elderly parents today.
Your parents are going to have to rely on you for care. That can be hard to do when the money is tight. However, these tips can eliminate your stress and make both your life and your parents' lives a lot easier.