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As our parents age, their needs and abilities may change, and they may require extra support and care to maintain their health and well-being. As adult children, it’s important to consider when to start caring for our aging parents, the benefits of doing so, and how to provide the best care possible. There are many things that go into taking care of aging parents. Discover how to keep your parents happy and healthy.

When to Start Caring for Aging Parents

It’s never too early to start thinking about caring for aging parents. Ideally, conversations about care should begin before care is needed, so that everyone is on the same page and can plan accordingly. By planning ahead, family caregivers can ensure that their loved ones receive the care they need and avoid making hasty decisions in the event of a crisis. Factors that may indicate a need for care include changes in mobility, cognitive abilities, and overall health. Some signs of deterioration in elderly parents may include:1

  • Difficulty with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as bathing, dressing, and toileting
  • Increased forgetfulness or confusion
  • Unexplained weight loss or changes in appetite
  • Declining physical abilities, such as walking or climbing stairs
  • Changes in mood or behavior
  • Increased isolation or difficulty socializing

Benefits of Caring for Aging Parents

While caring for aging parents can be challenging, it also comes with many benefits. These include:

  • Strengthening family bonds: Caring for elderly parents can bring families closer together and foster a sense of unity.
  • Providing peace of mind: Knowing that your parents are receiving the care they need can provide a sense of security and peace of mind.
  • Learning valuable life lessons: Family caregiving can teach us patience, empathy, and resilience, and help us develop a deeper understanding of the aging process.
  • Preserving family history: Spending time with an aging parent can provide an opportunity to learn about their lives and family history, and to pass on this knowledge to future generations.

Caring for Aging Parents Checklist

To ensure that your aging parent receives the care they need, it’s important to create a checklist of tasks and responsibilities. This may include:

  • Assessing care needs: Work with your parents’ healthcare provider to assess their care needs and create a care plan. This may involve hiring a caregiver, arranging for transportation, or modifying the home to make it more accessible.
  • Managing medications: Keep track of your parents’ medications and ensure that they are taking them as prescribed.
  • Providing emotional support: Aging can be a difficult and lonely time, so it’s important to provide emotional support to your parents. This may involve spending time with them, listening to their concerns, and connecting them with support groups or resources. Encourage them to socialize to maintain mental and emotional well-being.
  • Monitoring health: Keep track of your parents’ health and report any changes or concerns to their healthcare provider.
  • Managing finances: If your parents are unable to manage their finances, you may need to step in and help them pay bills, manage investments, or apply for government benefits.
  • Legal Planning: Help your loved one create or update their will, power of attorney, and other important legal documents.

Tips on Caring for Aging Parents

Caring for aging parents can be challenging, but there are several things you can do to make the experience more manageable:

  • Prioritize self-care: It’s important to take care of yourself in order to be an effective family caregiver.2 This may involve getting enough sleep, exercising, and taking time for yourself.
  • Stay organized: Keep track of appointments, medications, and other important information using a calendar, notebook, or app.
  • Be patient and flexible: Caring for aging parents can be unpredictable, so it’s important to be patient and flexible. Try to approach caregiving with a sense of humor and maintain a positive attitude.
  • Communicate regularly: Keep in touch with your loved one and communicate regularly about their care needs.
  • Stay positive: Focus on the positive aspects of caregiving and the joy it can bring.

How to Cope as a Family Caregiver

Caring for aging parents can be emotionally and physically exhausting, so it’s important to take steps to cope with stress and maintain your own well-being. Here are some tips for coping as a caregiver:

    • Practice stress-reducing activities: Consider activities such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises to help reduce stress.
    • Connect with others: Join a support group or connect with other family caregivers online to share experiences and receive emotional support.
    • Take care of your own health: Get enough sleep, eat a healthy diet, and exercise regularly to maintain your own physical health.
    • Take breaks: It’s important to take breaks from caregiving to prevent burnout. Consider hiring a respite caregiver, or ask a family member or friend to step in for a few hours.3
    • Remember to take breaks: Take time for yourself to do things you enjoy, whether it’s reading a book, taking a walk, or spending time with friends.
    • Seek support: Don’t be afraid to ask for help from family members, friends, or community resources. You may also want to consider joining a caregiver support group.
    • Communicate openly: Clear communication is key to providing effective care. Talk openly with your parents about their needs and concerns, and work together to find solutions.

Aid Your Aging Parents With Quality Home Care Services

Caring for aging parents can be a challenging but rewarding experience. By starting the conversation early, creating a checklist of tasks, and prioritizing self-care, you can provide the best possible care for your parents while also maintaining your own well-being.

But remember, you’re not alone, and there are many resources available to help you navigate this journey. At A First Name Basis, our goal is to aid family caregivers with our at-home care services. By working with our caregivers, you can provide the love and care your aging parents deserve. Discover our services and support today.



  1. National Institute on Aging. What Do We Know About Healthy Aging?
  2. Family Caregiver Alliance. Taking Care of You: Self-Care for Family Caregivers.
  3. National Institute on Aging. How to Share Caregiving Responsibilities With Family Members.