Striking the Balance Between Independence and Care Giving

Care Giver Holding Elderly Hand

As parents age, most children will begin to notice a role reversal. Parents who become increasingly unable to care for themselves might rely on their children to become caretakers. This can take many forms, but it typically involves helping aging parents access medical services, managing finances, setting them up with a medical alert system, and physically helping with chores and tasks around the house.

If you’re worried about your aging parent, you may feel yourself becoming overbearing, micromanaging every aspect of their lives. You might also feel yourself tiring of caretaking responsibilities, depending on the severity of your parent’s needs. Most aging folks will want to maintain some independence, regardless of how you want to help. Using a medical alert system is an easy and effective way to allow your elderly parent to maintain independence while still feeling in control of health care. Below, we’ve outlined a few additional strategies for balancing your parent’s independence with your new caretaking role. 

Connect Them to Essential Services

While you may want to take control of your elderly parent’s life, they may be hesitant to relinquish independence. An easy way to ensure they are taken care of is to connect them to essential services. This will look different for every family, so speak with your parent about their needs and routines. If your parent has trouble cleaning their home, help get them set up with a regular cleaning service. If they have been having trouble driving, connect them to a transportation service for essential needs. Can’t manage to get to the grocery store? Help to set them up with a grocery delivery service. Many day-to-day tasks can be outsourced, and signing up for a service can both alleviate your burden and help them maintain self-reliance.

Create a Safe Environment

Stair Lift Preserving Independence

According to data collected by the AARP, more than 3 in 4 seniors want to stay in their homes and communities as long as possible. While you may want to move your parent or elderly friend into an assisted living facility, you’ll want to speak with them to get a better understanding of their wants and needs. If they agree to stay put for the time being, there are certain strategies you can employ to make their home as safe as possible, which can mitigate the chances of an emergency or accident occurring.

For some families, this can be as simple as helping a parent declutter, updating smoking alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, and rearranging furniture to better suit their needs. Others might want to consider slip-proofing common household surfaces, adding safety grab bars in the bathroom, and installing ramps. You’ll also want to speak with your parent about creating labeling and organizing systems as they age, which can help them keep track of medications, food, important paperwork, and more. 

Empower Them to Live More Healthily

Physical health and wellness are big challenges for the elderly population. As bodies age, most older folks will begin to experience aches and pains, decreased vision and hearing, and limited mobility. All of these can hinder independence.

Being a supportive family entails both pointing out health issues and helping connect your relative to healthier lifestyle choices. This can include going for walks together, helping to schedule regular doctor appointments, showing them how to use a medical alert system, and establishing medication reminders. If assisting with any of these tasks makes you feel overbearing, remember that you can always connect them to additional services, whether it be contacting a local walking club or setting up an appointment with a nutritionist. 

How Medical Alert Systems from Alert1 Can Help

Home Fall Detection Medical Alarm System

Balancing independence with caregiving is difficult for most family members, but one investment will ease the burden more than others. Incorporating a medical alert system into your elderly parent’s care regimen can provide both emergency support and peace of mind. If you feel overbearing because you want to ensure they have help, a medical alert system will mitigate fear and help guarantee protection.

Medical alert systems from Alert1 are designed to suit every senior lifestyle – from those who like to be outside to those who prefer the comfort of their own homes. Plus, you won’t have to worry about getting them emergency care in the case that they are incapacitated. An emergency service operator can connect your loved one to medical services or to you, depending on the situation. Talk to your family member about how a medical alert system can fit into their lifestyle.