You love your Mom or Dad, but are at a loss of what to do if they begin showing signs of aging. It can be overwhelming and somewhat terrifying watching your parent or loved one lose the strength or some abilities that they have had for years. However, aging does bring some new challenges and obstacles to overcome. As a daughter or son, you will likely find yourself navigating a new relationship with your parents, walking a fine line between child and caregiver.
Where can you turn if you have questions about all things aging? You might be surprised that you don’t have to turn to the internet to find some guidance and expertise. In fact, you might just have to head down the block. Here are a few community resources for the elderly that might be right around the corner.
Your Local Senior Center
When it comes to having a handle of all things senior related, your local senior center is a great place to start. Senior centers often offer a variety of drop in activities for your loved one to attend, as well as group trips. In addition, senior centers can often offer recommendations for vetted services ranging from housekeeping and handyman work to home based therapy services.
Your City Hall
Don’t forget to take a look at the publications and resources available through your (or your loved one’s) city. Start with your municipal building or city hall to get connected with senior services that can include referrals to Meals on Wheels services, safety checks, and even medical equipment rental.
Your Park District
In addition to providing senior specific programs, socialization time, and activities, your park district can be a great place to find lectures on topics ranging from Medicare paperwork to immunization clinics. Park Districts also often pair with senior centers to host health fairs for seniors and their families, where you can meet the senior living and senior care professionals in your area that offer services you may currently need (or need later on).
Your local library can be a wealth of information, and not just because of helpful books about senior issues waiting for you to check out from the stacks. Often, libraries host lectures with a variety of senior specific topics ranging from health care issues to caregiving. These presentations are often given by experienced professionals right in your area, which means you can build up your local resource file just by attending and grabbing a few business cards.
Local Financial Planning Offices
You aren’t the first child to be confused about all things retirement, Medicare, and Power of Attorney. Luckily, many local financial planning offices offer free consultations, presentations, or even free help with everything from taxes to wills. Take advantage of the knowledge of these professionals and work with one that you feel comfortable with.
Local Senior Living Communities
Even if your loved one does not need residential care at the moment, one of the best resources for curious children can be local senior living communities. These havens often offer support groups for caregivers or family members, along with health fairs, educational sessions, and clinics without any pressure to use their services. Beyond getting excellent information from professionals who serve seniors everyday, you will also start to build up your relationship with the communities that you feel offer the best services. This relationship can help you down the road if your loved one needs short or long term assistance.
While the internet has a wealth of information, sometimes you just need to do a little exploring locally to find community resources for the elderly that are relevant to your situation.