How to protect seniors -- older parents, relatives and loved ones -- who live alone. Tips on what to do in case of an emergency. Safety ideas.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Where to start when caring for your parents

We always think of our parents as smart, strong and independent people. We are not prepared to fac a complex issue with caring for them when they become old. It happens gradually, or sometimes at once - but we are always caught on a spot.

How should we care for them? There is no fit-it-all answer. What may work for one family, may not work for yours. What worked yesterday, may drastically change today. The only way to handle this is planning.

Existing rules will no longer apply, and the past lifestyles will not come back. What we can count on is the ongoing changes. Assisting elderly family members requires constant management of our attitutes and decisions.

You need to be extremely organized and keep everything in writing. Keep bills, receipts, contracts notes and other elder-care information in a safe but easily accessible place. Gather resources and information on eldercare services.

Most aging people would choose to stay in their own homes. There is a growing number of options that allow them to do so. Research all possibility, and get the credentials of the people and organizations that offer those services.

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