Keeping Aging Parents at Home: 5 Top Caregiving Tips

5 tips to get help and decrease stress help you keep caring for elderly at home longer term

How to care for seniors at home for as long as possible

People often say “I promised her I’d never put her in a nursing home.” or “Dad told me he never wanted to live in one of those places.”

For a variety of reasons, caregivers may choose to care for their older adult at home.

And as long as the situation is safe for everyone involved, keeping aging parents at home is a wonderful thing to do.

But it’s important to remember that senior care is one of the toughest and most stressful jobs you’ll ever have.

That’s why caregivers are at such high risk for burn out and serious health conditions.

So if you’re caring for your older adult at home, it’s essential to pace yourself.

That means you can’t be running at 110% every day. We’re human and that’s simply not sustainable over the long run.

Pacing yourself and getting assistance helps you stay as healthy as possible so you can continue providing great care.

To help you keep going over the long term, we share 5 tips for keeping aging parents at home for as long as possible by reducing the caregiving workload and decreasing stress.


1. Understand how much care is needed

In caregiving, many of us fall into a state where we “can’t see the forest for the trees.” 

When you’re overwhelmed with a long list of caregiving To Dos, you’re so focused on the tasks that you’re not seeing the overall picture.

The first step is to find out how much care your older adult really needs. 

Creating a list of daily, weekly, and monthly care tasks helps you understand how much help is needed during the day, at night, and on weekends.

You’ll realize how much supervision is needed and at which times of day.

An easy way to make a comprehensive list is to set a notepad out and make quick notes every time you or someone else helps your older adult with something.

After a week, you’ll have a good overview of what your senior needs help with and at what times of day.

To make sure everything is captured, keep the note-taking going longer to see if there’s anything that happens once or twice a month that you don’t want to forget.


2. Be realistic about how much care you can provide without harming your own health

Now that you know what your older adult’s care needs are, you can figure out if that’s something you can handle without help. 

Or maybe looking over the list helps you realize that you definitely need help with a variety of tasks.

In your evaluation, think carefully about how much care you can realistically provide without harming your own health. 

Keep in mind that if you take on too much, you will eventually burn out or develop a serious health condition – ultimately leaving you unable to care for anyone.

Instead, be as proactive as you can and find ways to get the help you need to keep up your health and keep going as a caregiver.


3. Get help with caregiving

Even though it might seem like finding caregiving help takes too much time and effort, remember that it’s an investment that will pay off in the future. 

Finding help takes patience, effort, and creative thinking, but it will be worth it when you’re able to decrease your workload, reduce stress, and take regular breaks.

To help you spot more opportunities for getting help, keep an open mind and be flexible.

And be sure to use the list of needs you wrote down to remind you of the types of help you need.

Ideas include:

  • Enroll your older adult in an adult day program – socialization and care for them, much-needed rest for you
  • Hire in-home caregiving help to get regular breaks
  • Find a volunteer senior companion program in your area
  • Use a respite care service to get a longer break
  • Sign up for a meal delivery service or Meals on Wheels to reduce the number of meals you need to make
  • Ask family or close friends to help run errands, do some light housekeeping, or prepare some meals
  • Buy caregiving and household supplies in bulk or better yet, order online for home delivery. Basically, eliminate as many errands as possible to save time and energy.


4. Share the caregiving responsibility

You might be doing such an amazing job that nobody thinks you need any help caring for your older adult. 

So even if you feel like you shouldn’t have to say it, ask siblings or close relatives if they’ll take on their share of responsibility so you can take much-needed breaks.

Getting help from family will be different in every situation.

For one person, it could be moving mom to the sister’s house for a year.

Another person and their sibling might take turns living with dad for 2 months at a time.

In other cases, it could mean having your sister stay at your house for a week every two months so you can get away.

If they’re willing to help, be creative and flexible. No solution will be perfect, but any help you can get will lessen the workload for you.

Check out our additional helpful tips on how to ask family to help with caregiving.


5. Reduce financial pressure

Caring for an older adult can also place a significant financial burden on your family.

Reducing caregiving costs as much as possible helps decrease the amount of financial pressure and stress.



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By DailyCaring Editorial Team


  • Reply October 12, 2023


    Thank you for shedding light on the transformative power of technology in the realm of caregiving. It’s truly amazing how innovative solutions are revolutionizing the way we provide support and care for our loved ones. From remote monitoring to smart home adaptations, technology is enhancing safety, communication, and overall quality of life for both caregivers and those in their care. This article serves as a timely reminder that as technology advances, so too does our capacity for compassion and care. Kudos to all the innovators and caregivers making a positive impact in this space!

    • Reply October 12, 2023


      Thanks for your kind feedback! We’re so glad this article is helpful.

  • Reply March 11, 2023


    nice post

  • Reply July 28, 2020

    Susan Sangster

    Need to. Put a bathroom down stairs for my 92 yr. old mother

  • Reply June 11, 2020

    Rita Kiefer

    So insightful!
    Rita K

    • Reply June 11, 2020


      Thanks Rita! We’re so glad this article is helpful.

  • Reply October 17, 2019


    I found this article very helpful. I am searching for articles about the essential products to keep on hand when caring for a dementia patient and things to change around the home to help keep the person safe.

  • Reply September 30, 2019


    I really love this article on caring for your aging parent at home. Although I have so much wonderful support in my new family at my local Alzheimer’s Association and
    with all of moms friends at her old Senior Center and in my own friends, I still unfortunately, focus on how my siblings do not support me caring for mom at home. It can be a beautiful thing if we just all gave more time. This was a really good read for me, Thank You Daily Caring. <3


    • Reply September 30, 2019


      We’re so glad to hear that you and your mom have found such a supportive community 💜 It’s unfortunate that your siblings aren’t supportive, but it’s great that you’ve found others who help you keep going.

  • Reply April 7, 2018

    Anna Sakila

    Thank you for the post. We should take time to visit and talk with our parent, share old favorite memories, and create new ones we can treasure when they’re gone.

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