back to resources

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Caring for Your Aging Parents

As an adult child, caring for an aging parent is a major responsibility. Here are 5 mistakes to avoid when caring for your aging parents.



October 13, 2021

Your memories, digitized.

Preserve your most treasured photographs, films, videos and related items to keep telling your favorite stories for generations to come with the Memories by Matt Paxton media digitization box.



As an adult child, caring for an aging parent is a major responsibility. While there are many decisions to consider, there are also several mistakes that can be avoided with a little preparation. Just being aware of these common pitfalls can reduce the amount of stress you may face.

Here are 5 mistakes to avoid when caring for your aging parents:

Mistake #1. Failure to plan.

Take proactive steps regarding your parent’s long-term care. Research the living options that are available and determine what is best for them, whether it’s in-home care, adult daycare, assisted or independent living.

Also, prepare yourself emotionally for the changes that come with aging parents. They could develop dementia, such as Alzheimer’s or another related condition, face an advanced chronic illness, or struggle with depression. Give yourself time to understand and cope with these changes because the more prepared you are, the more patience and empathy you will have.

Mistake #2. Not Assessing your loved one’s overall health.

Evaluating your parent’s mental and physical health is key. Schedule a comprehensive health assessment. The results will provide a better understanding of your parent’s overall condition and help you determine the type of care they may need now and in the future.

Mistake #3. Not including them in key decisions.

Everyone wants to feel in control of their lives, no matter what age they are.It’s natural to want to help your parents, but make sure to include them in important decisions about their overall care. Discuss their wants and needs so they feel involved, and find a way to compromise on issues that you may not see eye-to-eye on.  

Mistake #4. Not asking for help.

Caring for an elderly parent involves countless responsibilities. Ask other family members to step in and help if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Family caregivers often feel guilty about asking for help. However, the stress from constant responsibilities can impact their health and their ability to provide the best care.

Mistake #5. Neglecting to take care of yourself.

It’s easy to become so caught up in taking care of your aging or sick parent that you neglect your health. Remember, self-care is not selfish. Take proper care of yourself by keeping up with your regular doctor appointments, spending time with friends or taking up a hobby you enjoy. 

Being the primary caregiver for a family member can be daunting and, at times, you might feel unprepared. But by planning, educating yourself and taking care of your own needs, you can help circumvent some of these common mistakes.

mll approved service