Aging is an unavoidable reality of life. It impacts everyone, but most especially your parents. As you, their child, grow older, you may not completely realize the extent to which their aging will affect them or you.
However, the symptoms of aging may soon become apparent, necessitating long-term care from you, or what is known as guardianship.
What Is Guardianship?
Guardianship is a legal arrangement established by the court for an elderly parent. It entitles an individual to care for another who is unable to care for themselves. The appointed guardian will be responsible for the health and security of the senior.
An elderly guardianship is also referred to as an elderly conservatorship. Both words allude to the relationship that develops when an elderly person is unable to attend for oneself.
For instance, if an individual loses the ability to perform basic hygiene, manage their finances, or remember to take their medications, the court may appoint a guardian or conservator.
Most of the time, adult children are appointed as guardians or conservators of their parents. If you’re the legally appointed individual to serve as a guardian to your parents, you’re about to embark on one of the most challenging and gratifying experiences of your life.
Although some people view this relationship as negative, the whole process could still be beneficial as long as it’s used as intended. You may learn about such benefits and more over at this website and other online resources.
Tips For Serving As A Guardian For Your Parents
Serving as a guardian isn’t an easy task. You’ll need to consider a lot of aspects, such as their financial situation, physical and emotional wellbeing, and more.
Plus, they’ll largely depend on you for their day-to-day necessities. The whole experience might take its toll on you.
However, serving as your parents’ guardian can be a wonderful opportunity to reciprocate the compassion, love, care, and kindness that they poured on you when you were younger.
With that said, take some time to explore the following tips regarding the wellbeing of your parents while serving as their guardians.
- Help Them Stay Active
While it’s inevitable for your loved ones to decelerate as they age, this doesn’t mean they stop being active. This is why it’s crucial to keep them engaged and healthy as they become older.
Whether for their physical or emotional health, it’ll be a great start as you serve as their guardian.
Seniors can stay active in a variety of ways. Take them for morning walks, let them help with easy household chores, go swimming, dance, or even do some sitting exercises together if you’d like.
Whatever measures you take, as long as their minds and bodies are engaged, you’re on the right track.
- Conduct A Financial Audit
Don’t forget about your parent’s bank accounts and other sources of money. Be able to get in touch with their financial or accounting experts or accountants.
As their guardian, you need to be responsible for their finances, so make plans on how you’ll handle their bills or costs.
If you wind up paying more than half of their expenditures – such as healthcare coverage, housing, and groceries – you might be eligible to claim them as a dependent on your taxes. This can reduce the tax you need to pay.
- Make Your Home Safe
The safety of your family should be a top priority. Many elderly individuals are victims of crime and fraud right in their own homes. As their guardian, it’s in your best interest to take precautions to safeguard yourself and your family from such threats.
One of the first steps you must take is to look at all aspects of your home. Examine areas that are more likely to pose a threat to your parent’s safety.
Kitchens, in particular, are where the majority of potentially dangerous objects, such as a gas stove, slippery floors, or unplugged appliances, are located.
Additionally, you may need well-lit rooms to avoid accidents, as well as functioning smoke alarms and fire extinguishers.
With a safe home, you can provide all of the comforts of home to your loved one while also adding an extra degree of security.
- Be A Listener
For some parents, losing independence is distressing, humiliating, and stressful. Thus, even though it’s not always easy or successful, always inquire whether they require your assistance before getting involved.
Similarly, always get their input or preference before making a decision on their behalf. Just because they need help doesn’t mean they have relinquished all control over their lives.
- Keep An Eye On Their Changing Physical Needs
When serving as a guardian to your aging loved one, focus most of your attention on their increasing physical demands.
For instance, if they’re having difficulty dressing, buy easy-to-wear clothing that won’t irritate them. Similarly, if there are changes in their eating and swallowing capabilities, it might be a good idea to introduce them to pureed foods.
Parental guardianship is a rewarding but time-consuming task. To reap the benefits, you’ll need to take steps to ensure your parents get sufficient support and that they’re safe.
Hopefully, some of the suggestions above may alleviate some of the pressure that comes with guardianship while also benefiting both your parents and your overall peace and wellbeing!