Greenwich, CT: 203-532-0500
Westport, CT 203-681-2957

Tips On How To Care For An Aging Parent

tips on how to care care of aging parents
Often when an older parent needs care, their children feel very overwhelmed and do not know what to do.  They are concerned with their parent’s physical safety and their mental well-being.  They worry is mom getting in and out of the bathtub safely?  Sometimes dad wears the same outfit now several days in a row and is holding onto the furniture as he walks through the house. Is mom is getting enough to eat – cereal and an occasional sandwich are just not enough.

What about mental stimulation – dad just seems to sit in front of the television or sleep most of the day.  There is an incredible sense of guilt that with your career and family you cannot spend enough time caring for your parents.

When you do have the time to spend with mom and dad it can be physically exhausting and mentally draining. Your visits are helpful but just not enough.  There is simply not enough time in the day.  You cannot take any more time off from work to help out.  Your family also needs your attention and care.  Finally, when do you take care of yourself?  You feel overwhelmed, guilty and uncomfortable just taking 15 minutes to yourself to relax and restore your energy.


Create a Care Plan, Ask for Help & Don’t Forget Yourself

If you find yourself being overwhelmed when faced with taking care of mom or dad there are a few major points to keep in mind:

  1. Create a successful care plan that incorporates the wishes of your parents is critical.  The purpose of a care plan is to have in writing a plan that maps out how care will be provided to your parents to meet their specific and unique physical, social and spiritual needs with the resources that are available to them. This will include communicating with your parents, siblings and other pertinent family members the need for a care plan and seek their input as well as their assistance in its implementation.
  2. To have a successful care plan you need to gather a lot of information in an organized, diligent, and comprehensive manner.  This information will include knowing your parent’s medical history and conditions, financial assets, legal documents, social and support networks, available community resources, and insurance policies and benefits.
  3. Once you collect this information you can begin the process of intelligently untangling the various concerns and issues that are involved in caring for your parents and put a care plan together that addresses all of the different items.  This will reduce your feeling of being overwhelmed. The venerable Mark Twain once said, “The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting with the first one.”
  4. Know that there is a light of support at the end of the tunnel. You are more than capable of managing difficult caregiving situations, but you need to know how to find and ask for help.
  5. You then need to implement the plan which will take some time. However, you should make sure you put your master to do list in your calendar and check off each of the items, so the plan gets implemented on a timely basis.  Enlist others to assist you in implementing the care plan so you are not working alone but part of a care team.
  6. Take care of yourself without guilt.  If you do not care for yourself, you will not have the physical or mental strength to care for your parents.  Take time to exercise, meditate and do something that you enjoy so you are refreshed to take the next step in caring for your parents.

If you would like to discuss your options for additional help, an evaluation is an excellent first step to take. At Sterling Care, we can offer up help determining the level of care needed. You can get in touch with us by calling 203-532-0500.

By Steven B. Katz
President and Certified Geriatric Care Manager Sterling Care

Subscribe To New Posts!

Get the latest Sterling Care posts and announcements delivered to your inbox.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.


Contact us for more information
and a free consultation.

Greenwich, CT


235 Glenville Road 3rd Floor
Greenwich, Connecticut 06831

Westport, CT


8 Wright Street 1st Floor
Westport, CT 06880