1. Set Boundaries. While it might be difficult to set boundaries with someone you love, it is an important part of caregiving. There are certain things you may not be able to do, and they will need to know those things from the beginning.
2. Know where documents are. Wills, insurance policies, tax information, bank accounts, and other documents that are essential to your parent’s business life should be taken care of and kept safe.
3. Don’t back away from disagreements. Your parents are accustomed to being the boss in your relationship, but being their caregiver means you have to have some degree of input.
4. Allow for as much autonomy as possible. While your elderly parents might now require more care, it’s important to their psychological health to have all the independence they reasonably can.
5. Discuss difficult topics early. Caring for the elderly can involve some painful conversations about life and death, but don’t shy away from them. Getting them talked through early on will allow you a greater handle on the situation.
6. Include other family members in the care. While you may be the primary caregiver, other members of your family should still be lending a hand in other ways.
7. Don’t make it all business all the time. While caregiving might become your job, make sure to have fun with your parent. Go on outings, if possible, or set up times to watch a favorite television show together or play a game.
8. Network with other caregivers in similar situations. Not only will this help keep you up to date on developments in caregiving, it will also give you someone to talk to who will understand you.
9. Take care of yourself. Don’t neglect your own health and needs. This may seem obvious, but neglecting oneself is often overlooked when you have someone else who requires constant care.
10. Know when arrangements aren’t working. Not everyone is equipped to take care of elderly parents, and there is nothing wrong with that. If your situation becomes untenable, there is nothing wrong with finding another way to handle your parent’s care.