When you can’t care for an elderly loved one, researching other caregiving arrangements, such as home care or assisted living, can ensure they receive the right care for their needs. Being a primary caregiver for an aging loved one is a big commitment emotionally, physically and financially that may not be feasible for people with jobs and household duties already taking up most of their time. Fortunately, there are other ways you can help an elderly loved one without disrupting your own schedule. 

There are several long-term care options available to help seniors live comfortably, whether it be in their own homes or at a residential facility. The right option for your loved one will depend on how competently they can conduct personal care tasks, such as bathing, dressing or preparing meals and whether they require medical care. Having an open conversation about their needs is one way to be supportive and identify the right care option.

How to Help Your Aging Loved One

Before telling an aging loved one that you’re unable to care for them, you can prepare a list of alternative care options to keep the conversation productive. This also shows that even though you don’t have the time and resources needed to personally care for them, their well-being is still a priority to you. During the conversation, try to stay patient and empathetic, even if your loved one gets frustrated or angry. Aging comes with many mental and physical changes that can cause forgetfulness, confusion and other mixed emotions that may make it difficult for seniors to communicate effectively. It’s still important to validate their feelings and listen to their point of view. 

You may feel compelled to make decisions for your relative to prove you care for them out of guilt because you can’t do the job yourself. However, loss of independence is a main concern seniors may have about receiving care from someone outside the family, especially if they move to a residential facility. To ease their worries, let your loved one take charge of choosing a care option. This helps them maintain their independence and may make them feel better about trusting an outsider with their needs. 

Choosing Long-Term Care Options

With so many care options available, it can be hard to know which one is right for your loved one’s needs. Searching online for caregiving agencies or long-term care facilities in the area can give you an idea of what’s available and the services offered. Looking at websites and reading reviews from others who have used these services can be useful in determining whether a specific option is the right match for your relative. 

If your loved one decides that a residential facility, such as assisted living or a nursing home, is what they want, consider scheduling a tour of the community. You and your loved one can see firsthand how residents live and what services and amenities are offered. Ultimately, your loved one’s comfort and happiness should be a priority when choosing a care option.