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HEALTH TOPICS

Caring for Aging Parents

No one knows your parents as well as you do and no one cares for them as much. But caring for an aging family member can be frustrating, emotional, tiring, and scary, both for you and for the person you’re caring for. Find out how you can best prepare yourself, your family, and your parent for some of the changes that may be in the future.

Prepare everyone emotionally well in advance

How will decisions be made, how much do siblings want to be involved, and how much can they be involved? What does your parent want? How will it all affect your own family? Here are some ways to help you answer these and other questions.

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How do you know when to step in?

Your involvement in your parents' care may start very suddenly with an illness or an accident. Chances are, it will be clear at that time what you need to do. But if things progress more gradually, it can be difficult to know when you should step in and how much you should do. This can be made even more difficult if your parent or parents insist they can "handle it." How do you know when to step in?

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Early steps in caring for your parent

So far, things have been going pretty smoothly with your parent and you haven't had too many concerns. But you know the time is coming when you'll need to be involved in a more direct way.

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Taking care of yourself

As you embark on the journey of caring for your parents, your life may become very stressful. In order to ensure you are able to continue to fulfill your obligations as parent, spouse, and employee, you will need to take care of yourself.

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