Top 6 Caregiver Tips for Parents Aging at Home

Sophie Bebeau

Written by Sophie Bebeau on Thu May 11 2023.

Parents and adult daughter. Laughing.

By 2030 almost a quarter of the American population will be at retirement age. According to two 2022 surveys by Cross Country Workforce Solutions Group and AARP, over 75% of adults over 50 want to remain at home as they age.

Many younger family members realize that caring for an aging parent may soon be on the horizon. As long as it is safe and beneficial to the lifestyles of all involved, aging in place is a great choice for older adults. Those who age in place tend to have a higher quality of life, more community engagement, and feel more comfortable and independent.

Though aging in place has some great benefits for seniors, it can be a different story for their caregivers. Caregiver burnout is real, and many caregivers experience high stress, anxiety, and emotional and physical fatigue without the proper support. 

Luckily, as a large segment of the population ages, caregiver resources and communities are rapidly expanding. As a result, millions of at-home caregivers nationwide are adapting to caregiving challenges and figuring out ways to combat caregiver burnout. With the right plan and support, caregiving can be rewarding and give peace of mind that your elderly parent is aging in a comfortable, supported environment they prefer.

Tips from Caregivers for Caregivers

At Carewell, supporting family caregivers is our passion. We know the best caregiving advice comes from people with boots-on-the-ground experience: the at-home family caregivers doing the job every day. We hear the stories of thousands of caregivers every year as they navigate the challenges and triumphs of caregiving. We have compiled some of the most frequently heard tips for caregiving for an elderly parent aging at home.

1. Be realistic about the care you can provide

Before you take on the role of family caregiver, determine your loved one's needs and be realistic about the kind of care you can provide. For example: Will your loved one need 24/7 supervision? Do they have any special medical needs? Will they need frequent transportation? What activities of daily living can they complete on their own?

You'll need to ask yourself many questions before committing to caregiving. Many caregivers need to prepare themselves properly for what it entails. Remember, it's okay if you can't do it all! If you feel like you're taking on too much or can't provide the needed level of care, it may be beneficial to look into additional help or alternative options such as assisted living facilities or respite care services.

2. Be willing to learn new skills

Once you've committed to caregiving, it's time to beef up that caregiver resume! Caregivers of aging parents need to develop certain skills beyond those necessary for daily living to ensure their safety and well-being. Becoming proficient in essential caregiving skills will make your life easier, especially if your aging loved one has medical needs.

Some key caregiver skills include:

  • Managing mobility challenges with mobility aids like wheelchairs, lifts, and additions to the home like shower bars

  • Administering medicine correctly and safely

  • Learning how to safely and effectively clean the medical supplies you use

  • Becoming CPR certified and brushing up on basic first aid

  • Organizing the daily, weekly, and/or monthly schedule with appointments, medication times, meals, shopping, and other outings or events

  • Familiarizing yourself with proper hygiene practices

  • Connecting with your loved one's healthcare team and advocating for them

Some of the best ways to hone your caregiving skills are by picking up books or magazines about caregiving, listening to caregiving podcasts, and talking to other caregivers on the internet or in your community. 

3. Learn the caregiving tools you need and where to find them

Caregiving often requires special tools. There is a whole world of cleaning products, mobility aids, incontinence products, medical supplies, and more that a caregiver may need to familiarize themselves with to be prepared to care for an elderly parent at home. Knowing that you have the right items ahead of time will help relieve some stress associated with providing long-term care.

It's not always easy to find everything you need in one location, and caregivers often find themselves running around between different big box retailers and specialty stores. At Carewell, our mission is to give caregivers an easy one-stop-shop caregiving supply hub with high-quality items that can be ordered from the comfort of your home. 

With our easy Autoship option, you can have peace of mind knowing that the items you need will be delivered to your doorstep on a schedule you can choose. You'll also have our expert Caregiving Specialists at your disposal 24/7. If you have product questions or need recommendations, you can get information quickly with a simple phone call or chat. 

Speak to a caregiving specialist by calling 855-855-1666 or clicking the chat feature at the bottom of the website.

4. Apply for financial assistance

The financial impact of caregiving is often underestimated, and many families can get stressed trying to take on the costs of supplies, medications, medical care, services, or outside help. Seek financial assistance to help reduce the financial pressure on your family.

Some financial assistance options to consider:

  • Get paid to be a caregiver if your aging loved one qualifies for Medicaid. Contact your state's Medicaid office to see if you qualify for this benefit.

  • Find reduced-cost medications. Medicare users can qualify for Extra Help, a program that helps pay monthly premiums, annual deductibles, and co-pays related to Medicare prescription drug coverage.

  • Consider using the "spending down" strategy to qualify for Medicaid. This involves spending and shifting assets in order to meet the financial criteria to qualify for Medicaid. Talk with an elder care attorney or financial planner to see if this is a good option.

  • Find private, state, and federal assistance programs with the Benefits Check Up tool from the National Council on Aging.

5. Get help from professionals and family & friends

Taking on all the responsibilities of caregiving yourself can quickly become exhausting. So it's important that caregivers recognize when they need help managing caregiving duties, either from professional services or family and friend support.

Consider enlisting family members or professional care providers to share or take over some caregiving duties. Even having someone take over simple chores like grocery shopping or laundry now and then can make life easier! Also, consider seeking out extra professional care if needed. In addition, adult day care, home health aids, transportation programs, and other social service organizations are designed to help families care for elders at home and can help prevent caregiver burnout.

6. Pay attention to your own care

One of the most important aspects of caregiving is making self-care a priority, but it's common for caregiving to neglect their own needs while trying to care for their loved ones. It's critical that caregivers take regular breaks throughout their week so they don't suffer from burnout.

Care basics like ensuring you get enough sleep, eat well, and engage in healthy activities are, of course, important. Still, you need to go beyond taking care of yourself at just a basic level and tend to your mental and emotional needs as well.

Take a break every once in a while – go out with friends, do something fun, engage in your hobby, or simply relax with a cup of wine and a good book – whatever it takes to give yourself a mental breather! 

Join online communities dedicated specifically to caregivers where you can vent frustrations or ask questions without feeling judged. Connecting with other people going through similar situations can provide great comfort.

Need some assistance? We're here for you.

At Carewell, we believe caregivers are superheroes. But even superheroes need help now and again. One of the most courageous things a caregiver can do is ask for help!

If you need assistance learning what types of caregiving supplies you need or how to use certain caregiving tools, don't hesitate to reach out to a Carewell Caregiving Specialist. We are happy to talk with you and help you figure out what caregiving tools fit your needs.

Talk to our Care Team, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call us at (800) 696-CARE, email us at, or chat with us using our live chat tool at the bottom of the webpage.

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Sophie Bebeau
Sophie Bebeau

Sophie Bebeau is a writer, graphic designer, poet, and multidisciplinary artist living in Green Bay, Wisconsin. When she’s not writing or making things for the internet, she can be found cross-stitching, writing poetry, and snuggling on the couch with a cup of tea and her husband, son, and dog, Buttercup.