14 Tips for Elderly Care at Home of Aging Parents and Seniors

Learn how to make caring for the elderly easy and simple.

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Elderly care at home tips for aging parents and seniors

This updated post is about elderly care at home. Caring for the elderly parents at home is an important concern for all. While your parents may love the home care, you need to be familiar with the ways to provide the best of comfort and services to them. Here are some tips to take care of your aging parents or seniors at home. ~ Ed.


Have you come across people who take care of elderly people at home?

Some prefer the elder home care or assisted living services and that’s good too. All options have their pros and cons.

There are people who prefer taking care of elderly at home, whether they are parents, grandparents, or close family members.

Are you one of them? Are you able to take care of your elderly with ease?

Let’s face it – it’s no easy task. I take elderly care as a blessing, but for some it’s a challenging task. All we need to do is learn to make this task easy and simple.

Very few of us happily accept the task of caring for elders, and most tend to deny the simple fact that it’s coming.

Today’s post, though a little lengthy, is close to my heart as it makes me think about what I would do when my Dad or in-laws need me, because that day will come one day.

Will I be able to take care of them like a dutiful daughter or daughter-in-law? If so, what ways would I follow while taking care of them?

So, grab your cup of tea or coffee, think about your parents or elders, and imagine how you would take care of them while going through the post. 🙂

“Love begins by taking care of the closest ones-the ones at home.” ~ Mother Teresa

Caring for the Elderly – The Inevitable

You too, at some point in your life may find yourself taking care of aging parents or elderly members in your family, in the same way they cared for you.

Remember, it’s not easy for your elders, who were once independent, to become dependent on you or on others for their basic care.

You can never say what turn life may take. God forbid if a parent has a sudden accident or slips in the bathroom – would you really be in a state to handle such a situation?

I guess like me, you too might scramble to find emergency numbers or call the insurance company, and locate old hospital bills.

With all this chaos, you also need to handle your daily work, family and kids. Life can surely be tough at times, so you need to be geared up to face it – isn’t it?

This is one reason why some people opt for assisted living. No matter how much we love our parents and elders, we might not match up with the standards of elder home care services.

But if your parents and you decide that home is the only option, you can make it possible with expert guidance.

You can provide elderly care at home in more ways than one. So your parents or elders are handled with care, love, affection, as they need your full attention and patience.

Taking Care of Elderly Parents and Seniors

Taking care of the elderly can be very stressful at times because you need to help them with their personal needs besides taking care of the daily routine.

What do you need to do for elderly care at home? This could include –

  • Make preparations for medical care
  • Managing the finances
  • Organizing their medication
  • Providing healthy and safe surroundings
  • Arranging for adequate social interaction
  • Making provision for care when you are away
  • Consider their financial and emotional problems, besides how you deal with them at home, which can save you a lot of last-minute trouble – if the need arises.

For doing all of this, you need to remain healthy first. A number of studies show that caregivers or those who take care of elders may suffer from anxiety, depression, stress, and musculoskeletal disorder.

I’ve seen my Mom undergo a lot of stress when she used to look after her mother-in-law as she handled things single-handed.

So, please look after yourself before you start elderly care at home.

You can take care of yourself by dividing responsibilities between your spouse and yourself, or get other family members involved.

And don’t forget to take breaks and enjoy your life also, which you can do by getting away for a while.

Other than these, you can achieve good standards of elderly care at home by following the below-mentioned ways.

“One person caring about another represents life’s greatest value.” ~ Jim Rohn

a young boy taking care of and loving his grandmother

14 Tips for Elderly Care at Home

You need to plan well ahead about how you will be taking care of your aging seniors. The best way to go is to –

  • Equip your home to make it elderly ready
  • Ensure health and safety of the elders
  • Help with money issues and protection of funds
  • Help the elders get socially connected

Let’s me explain each point with some practical tips.

Equip Your Home

If you have elders staying at home, then you need to prepare the home for them. However, most seniors prefer staying on their own because they don’t want to be a burden on their kids.

In such cases, where they plan staying independently, you need to –

1. Make changes in the house

Making small changes in the house can save a lot of trouble. Like you can take care of the following –

  • Remove all kind of cluttered extra furniture lying around the house that might make it difficult for your elders to move around freely.
  • Have grab bars near the toilet and the shower. I know they don’t look good – but are a must.
  • Smoke detectors with a vibrate feature or with strobe lighting that can wake up seniors when conventional devices wouldn’t.
  • Antiscald devices for shower and faucets – as these protect older skin and prevent from serious burns. Or set the water heaters at 120 degrees – to a “low” temperature.
  • Ensure all cables and wires are tucked away to prevent slips or falls.
  • Install non-skid mats, strips, or pads in the toilet, bathtub or shower and other slippery areas of the house.
  • Carbon monoxide detectors are suggested as elderly people are at risk to even a low concentration of the deadly gas.
  • Make sure there are night lights installed at strategic places around the house so that when your elders go to the bathroom or to fetch water at night, they can find their way around.

There’s a lot more you can add to the list for better elderly care at home, so do that in the comments section.

2. Keep track

If your parents or elders are going to be alone at home, you need to make them comfortable and safe.

Some families use special elderly care products at home that rely on strategically placed motions sensors to keep track on their elders.

There are no microphones or cameras used so the privacy remains intact, and these sensors send an alarm or message if anything out of the ordinary takes place.

If your parents are tech savvy, then a mobile phone would be ideal, or then a website update every 2-3 hours would keep you less worried too.

3. Hire someone

Sometimes the distances are far and you aren’t able to be with your loved ones or elders, even though you want to.

In such cases, you can think of hiring a knowledgeable professional that you can locate from various agencies or places.

They can help by being a companion, besides helping out when your elders need them, or even take them to the doctor in case of emergencies.

Thankfully, we get paid help our end if need be, though we need to get them registered with their proper identity proof before keeping them.

4. Cater for expenses

When you take care of your elders who aren’t living with you – you need to anticipate the expenses. To maintain their health and independence, you would need to pay for a few services.

These could be a helper or caretaker if any, and the amount they would charge. Or it could also cover their health charges, routine check-ups, and their daily expenditures – if they are dependent on you.

5. Visit them often

The time you spend with your elders makes a difference to them as they look forward to being with you.

Also, if you visit them often you would know whether they are safe, living well and emotionally sound too.

You can keep an eye open for any changes around – like if the house is unkempt, there are unopened mail lying around, plants not watered, soiled clothes, any bruises indicating they had a fall etc.

Make sure your elders have good neighbors that can keep checking in often.

Health and Safety of elders

You need to ensure your elders are healthy and safe, and for doing that you need to take certain measures.

6. Regular exercise

It’s a well-known fact that if older people exercise regularly, they remain protected from diseases, and this makes them functionally younger by 10 to 15 years.

So, let then start with exercises that are initially light and something they can do, and later they can take up more depending on their capability.

I’m glad my Dad’s very health conscious. He plays golf daily, and is very particular about his daily walks, yoga, meditation, and following a healthy, balanced, and nutritious diet too.

7. Be careful with medicines

Sometimes your elders who are living independently might have to be live under supervision due to poor medication management.

That’s because they see various specialists but take prescriptions from a single pharmacist, who might not be good and trustworthy.

You need to take care that the medications prescribed have no side-effects, and don’t interact with any other medicines.

Also, make sure that the pharmacist is honest and of repute, as sometimes they can repackage pills that shouldn’t be taken by making it look all new.

Another important point is to make sure your parents or elders don’t mix up their medicines, as with old age this problem does arise.

Reasons could me many again – poor eyesight, memory problems, sleepiness, or other health issues.

Sometimes, I’ve seen my Dad take some medicines that he was supposed to take at a different time because he was preoccupied.

What you can do is label the medicines and put them in separate drawers or compartments, making it easy for your parents or elders to find them.

8. Driving problems

It’s very tough to handle parents or elders at home and tell them not to drive. Especially once age catches up and you see they aren’t able to drive as well as before.

You can see the changes when their cognitive abilities begin declining, reaction time lessens, body stiffens, and their driving gets erratic.

For your parents or seniors it’s rather depressing if they are told not to drive, and some even become stubborn enough and refuse to listen to you.

It’s best to sit and explain things to them, and if they still remain adamant suggest hiring a driver for them. Again, I’ve done the same for my Dad, even though he can drive – just being safe.

9. Stay away from scams

If your elders are staying away from you, they are vulnerable to a lot of scams. It could be anything from their telephone or mobile investments, to their usage of the credit card.

You should get your parents credits cards checked up periodically, and get to know if they haven’t landed in any scam. Don’t forget to keep track of their bills too.

Money Issues and Protection of Funds

Most elders retire and face financial distress, because they are living on a limited budget or fixed income. But you can help them feel better by the following ways.

10. Talk about finances

If your parents are dependent on you, then it makes sense to have open discussions about the monetary aspects.

Be open with them, seek their advice, suggest your ways, and chalk out something that works best for both sides.

You should be frank enough to let them know how much you can offer and see if it fits in well.

11. Documentation

You need to complete all the paper work beforehand. Like the power of attorney, just in case if you need it if your parents or elders can’t control their finances any longer.

It’s recommended that seniors add a second person with a detailed photograph, whether a friend or professional, who will also be there to keep a check on things.

Similarly, let your parents make their will and keep it in safe custody with the lawyer or with whomsoever they prefer. Your parents and elders also feel happier when all of this is done.

Get Socially Connected

With age setting in and their losses, many elders tend to become isolated and lonely, while others suffer from depression.

Take care of your elders and ensure that they somehow stay connected with the rest of the world.

12. Get the elders involved

The best way to reconnect them with the world is to involve your elders in socially useful activities. Now that they don’t have to manage kids or a career, most seniors like the opportunity to reach out and help others.

They have their years of wisdom to pass onto others. And they prefer doing this than sitting home doing nothing or just watching television.

Your parents or seniors could also join voluntary programs, or take part in educating those who need it – their way of helping others.

Sadly, there are a few elders who prefer remaining home, and this often leads to unhappiness, depression and other ailments. That’s because they feel they don’t have a purpose in life any longer.

Life doesn’t end when they get old, and that’s something you need to convey to them.

13. Make friends

If you are busy and can’t take care of your parents and elders, it’s good for them to make friends with people of their age group.

They can do so my mixing up with others and visiting clubs, or joining common hobby courses.

Small things like going for walks together, playing games or cards, shopping, or just talking can help your elders feel better.

Remember, at their age – its company they seek more than anything else. I see my mother-in-law in a similar situation, and often wish I could spend more time with her.

More so, if they have lost their spouse, their life can be very lonely.

14. Sharing meals

Your elders might have problems in preparing their own meals, or they might just lose interest in cooking. It could be due to lack of interest, depression, or other health issues.

I read about congregate meals that often takes place at senior centers. Such kinds of group meals are a lifeline to elders who aren’t able to prepare their own meals.

Moreover, they remain happy in the company of others who are also in a similar place and situation.

“You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair.” ~ Douglas MacArthur

a written pledge to take care and support the elderly

This is a  promise that each one of us must make to ourselves.

Elderly Care at Home – Wrapping Up

Besides all the tips of elderly care at home mentioned above, you can take care of your parents and seniors by being there for them.

Mostly, you and I tend to think of their physical needs, while we often overlook their emotional, social, or psychological needs.

Keep in mind that with age their hearing, vision, touch, and other senses may not work as well as before, or they might decline with age.

So, make sure you speak louder, or come closer when you talk to them. Also, they are more sensitive to pain and touch – so take care.

Be sensitive and discreet about their troubles, especially when they begin losing their memory and bodily functions. It’s more frustrating for them than for you. So, be kind and understanding.

Also, it can become hard for your parents or elders to see their own kids or grandkids keep away from them because they find them boring, old, or uninteresting.

The very same children and grandchildren whom they have loved and nurtured all these years sometimes turn against them.

Remember, they are your parents or elders and are already undergoing a lot. They are struggling with major and minor life changes, or they might be ailing and having other health issues.

Just a few words of encouragement from you and a little time of yours to talk to them could lift their moods and spirits.

It will make them happy and raise their self-esteem, and once that happens, they will be more productive and feel good about themselves.

All of this pepping up will make them forget their problems and worries, and makes their lives more colorful.

And I think each one of you owes this much to your parent or elder – don’t you? Is it asking for too much to taking care of elderly parents?

So, reach out and love your elders – for they have loved and cared for you all these years, and now it’s your turn. You will only be happy you did, and remember, they aren’t with you forever.

Caring for the elderly parents is a blessing. I wish you all the best for taking care of your aging parents and seniors at home. 🙂

“The best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person.” ~ Andy Rooney

Over to you –

Do you have anyone in your family whom you have taken care of? What ways do you suggest to taking care of elderly parents or seniors? Share your elderly care tips in the comments.

Photo Credit: daoro , groenbaek , Schristia

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74 Comments - Read and share thoughts

  1. Srikanth

    2013-03-22 at 12:31 pm

    Hi Ma’am,

    Elders(Parents) they are ones whom we should think about no matter in what situation we are dealing with. Parents has given life to us and made our life with happiness,sadness,,..etc as their life. They find their happiness in our life. They do sacrifice and give us every thing when we need. Me really love my mom dad because they are the one who has given me life to live and it’s my responsibility as a son to take care of them when get old. We need to make them always feel happy and proud by seeing us!!

    Thanks for Sharing ma’am Really a great post!!

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-03-22 at 1:30 pm

      Hi Srikanth,

      You are absolutely right – our parents and elders are the ones we should think about. Yes, we have lots on our mind, and with our busy lives nowadays, it’s not always possible. But we need to take out that time and pay a little attention to them too.

      I like the feelings you shared about your Mom and Dad, and that’s the way every child should feel. They have raised and brought us to this level, shared our joys and sorrows, and been there whenever we needed them. It’s our turn now – isn’t it?

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views. 🙂

  2. Enstine Muki

    2013-03-22 at 3:35 am

    Hi Harleena,

    There is always something to learn whenever a new post is on your blog. While I was happy reading your post on how to deal with children, here comes another exciting one. My mum and dad are well over 70. You see where this article comes in? They live over 400 miles from where I am. That makes point #5 crucial 😉

    Thanks for sharing all these other points. It’s not only about my parents though. It’s very important for every other aged person.

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-03-22 at 11:33 am

      Hi Enstine,

      Aha…thanks for those kind words, and am glad you find something to learn from the posts I share. I guess my purpose is accomplished if I can get across to people to help them in someways. 🙂

      Yes I see how this post relates to you, and just like your parents, my Dads too lives far. I agree, point 5 is crucial for you as much as for me! So, hope you do visit them often, or perhaps they visit you, though am sure like most elders – their visits are less or rare – right?

      Spending time with our parents or elders is the least we can do I feel, and all it takes is a little of our time, and if by doing that we can bring a smile on their face or happiness in their lives – then why not.

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂


    2013-03-22 at 1:48 am

    Hi Harleena…

    Thanks for your very fruitful sharing. Being a doctor & chief functionary of elderly healthcare project (banchbo.org.in) I personally realized about the problems of Elderly people & also importance of awareness among care givers. Due to lack of basic knowledge of care givers, elderly people are suffering a lot & even in some cases ultimately worst situation is develop. Not only for care givers, this sort awareness is also very much required for family members to proper handling of elderly members with appropriate respect & dignity. Because senior citizen don’t want our compassion but want proper dignity. We all including our Government should seriously think about this significant portion of our population because if these portion will remain unproductive then proper development will be hampered. We must use their rich experience for our development. Your article is really effective for those who seriously think about betterment of our elderly population. Regards.

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-03-22 at 11:14 am

      Welcome to the blog Dr Dhires!

      Glad you liked the post 🙂

      Being a doctor and involved in elderly healthcare projects, you would surely be knowing all the problems our elders face – so all of this must be something you can relate to pretty well I’m sure.:)

      You’re right about the lack of basic knowledge among some of the caregivers, which results in the elders suffering, and this is more so in our country than elsewhere I think. Even people in general, as you mentioned, refrain from taking care of their own parents or elders at home due to the various reasons mentioned and discussed by many in the above comments. However, there are just no excuses I feel that each one of us shouldn’t take care of our loved ones – isn’t it?

      I agree, our seniors want and deserve our respect and dignity instead of our pity, and we on our part also should give it to them happily – there’s just no question of not doing so. But yes, there are many who won’t, and I hope the post makes them realize all of this in more ways than one.

      I wonder how much the Government can do other than increasing their retirement age so that those elders who are fit enough, can continue working a little longer if they wish to. Or else they can cater for more venues for elders where they can join some programs to help the younger people of the society as they are all so experienced with their years of wisdom, which would keep them busy and involved in some productive work, and this might help raise their confidence levels too.

      Thanks for stopping by and your words of appreciation. 🙂

  4. Adrienne

    2013-03-22 at 1:07 am

    You always go to great lengths to share information with us Harleena. This one is information a lot of people hope they’ll never need.

    I’ve yet to have this issue but you know I’m the caregiver of our family. Now the last week that my Dad was home, Mom and I cared for him. I won’t go into the details but he was bed ridden for 7 days before we called the ambulance for the second time. I stayed to help Mom for the first five days before we could find help and that was so hard. He couldn’t even feed himself let alone get out of bed.

    Now my Mom is living next door to me and independent although she can’t walk in a straight line anymore. Like my Dad, I hope the time will never come that she will have to go to a home but that will be where she’ll go IF that time comes that someone needs to be there with her.

    She’s had nursing home insurance for over 25 years now and doesn’t want to be a burden to us. I know it’s hard, we went through that with my Dad so it’s hard to watch your parents deteriorate right before your eyes.

    There is so much involved with caring for your elders but to me Harleena, I wouldn’t trade that for the world. I’m just happy I’m able to be there for my Mom and I was able to be there for my Dad.


    • Harleena Singh

      2013-03-22 at 10:43 am

      Hi Adrienne,

      I do try and share all that I know through my experience and of what I can gather online with the sole purpose of helping others in some way or the other. I also hope no one would need this information, but like they say, it’s never too late to learn and be prepared – just in-case you might need it.

      I know you are the caregiver of your family and they must be really looking be appreciating you for your efforts. Taking care is no easy task, and just as you mentioned, it was a combined effort with your Mom when you had to take care of your Dad – especially when finding help was so tough for you all. I wonder how your Mom would have managed had you not been there.

      The best thing that happened to you I think was when your Mom moved next door. And even though she might prefer to remain independent and have her own life and space, as most elders do, at least it’s some relief to you that she’s near by and you can look her up anytime. I hope and pray she never has any problems to face in her life, and if she ever does – the best home to shift would be to yours, yes IF at all such a need arises.

      That’s just it. Parents feel they are burdening their kid’s if they move in with them. While some part of it might be true in a few cases, I’m sure if need be they can always contribute a little and live with their kid’s because you never know about tomorrow. And with their age catching up each day, it only makes sense I feel to live closer to their own kids if not with them.

      I agree – taking care of our elders is our duty that each one of us must be ready to undertake happily and willingly. I’m glad you are there for your Mom too. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with all of us. Have a lovely weekend 🙂

  5. babanature

    2013-03-22 at 12:03 am

    Hello Harleena,
    Wow!!! this post is so excitingly awesome 😀
    The tips you pointed out were so right on point and i just don’t like it, i loved it. How i wish i still had my old man with me 🙂 Thanks for this lovely post and do have a great weekend ahead.

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-03-22 at 12:18 am

      Hi Babanature,

      Glad you liked the post with these tips and ways. 🙂

      I guess we do miss our elders and parents when we go through such posts, and wish they were with us. Perhaps you can use these for the other elders in your family instead. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by, and have a nice day ahead 🙂

  6. Nwosu Desmond

    2013-03-21 at 6:41 pm

    I never ever imagined it could be this hard taking care of the elderly, thanks for this eye opener….this post is really educating.

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-03-21 at 8:38 pm

      Welcome to the blog Nwosu!

      Glad you liked the post, and yes, nothing comes easy – isn’t it? But taking care of parents or our elders I feel is our duty and responsibility, and if can find ways to overcome the challenges – anything is possible. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  7. Ferb

    2013-03-21 at 4:07 pm

    Hi Harleena, I believed taking care of elderly people is very tough. There are a lot of great tips from you but thing like exercise is one of the hardest that elderly people would enjoy to do it. Just like my dad, he isn’t young but when I ask him to come and exercise – play some basketball, but he doesn’t seem like interested in it. It’s really concerned me.

    One good thing, when I keep track on my dad, what he’s doing everyday, he’s doing great, coffee in the morning > eat > tea > coffe > eat > TV > sleep. I think it’s enough to make his day and I really shouldn’t ask him to do anything that he doesn’t like to do.

    Thanks – Ferb

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-03-21 at 8:35 pm

      Hi Ferb,

      It sure is not easy taking care of elders, though it’s the duty of every child – isn’t it?

      I agree, exercise is something most elders might not want to do if they aren’t in the habit from before, but that’s required to keep them healthy and it helps to keep their limbs moving and functional right through. They could take up light exercises or as much as their body allows, like light walks and then gradually take up light exercises. Once they get into the habit, they are able to do it, as I see both, my Dad and in-laws remain happy and healthy practicing it daily.

      Ah…basketball and those kind of strenuous games they might not like, or they feel they aren’t young enough to cope because it requires stamina. But if you ask them to play golf, they might agree.

      I agree, if your Dad is happy and loving his life the way it is and if he has no health issues – then let it be. However, we shouldn’t wait for any health problems to arise and then take action. So, if he’s ready for even 15-30 minutes of light walks, it might be a good idea to start him off with it – it’s recommended, and works well for the heart too.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with all of us. 🙂

  8. Mayura

    2013-03-21 at 12:39 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    Gosh… There’s a lot of aspects I’ve been thinking when I read your post and actually I didn’t think about creating a friendly environment for elders 🙂 Good tip when building a house to live with parents.

    Actually I’m still young enough to think about it all, but when I look at my grandparents (Over 80s) and relatives getting older, it reminds me that I’ll have to deal with that in future.

    I’ll touch some areas with thoughts of mine as a grandchild. I hope you don’t mind Harleena 😉

    My grandparents live far from our home and unable to visit often too. May be 2 times a year.

    As grandchildren, we asked them to come stay with us, but my grandmother never like to leave her home. So grandfather has no other option. They are healthy, but both live alone. Silent and don’t share problems they have even with their own children.

    When we talk they always try to emphasis they are still younger and can take care of themselves alone. Even better than children 😉 I know it’s sacrifice comes along with the love, but still don’t like to be dependent. Even a child made up her mind to stay and take care of them, they are like stubborn children. Actually, my grandmother 😉 Also arranged to hire someone for help, a person very trustworthy, but still don’t let her.

    Yesterday a very older aunt was slipped and injured, and unless someone didn’t notice her, she could have died. Neighbors were very generous enough to take care and offer help. Her siblings wanted to bring her with them to take care of her, but the same story. She’s stubborn too.

    See, some of tips were already followed but the application is never and never easy if elders are flexible enough Harleena. Even we like to offer help, they refuse. HA… I think we need some tricky applications.

    As I have such grandparents and when I see very old elders who have children live in overseas, I feel sorry for ’em. Even too bad when I see elders being abandoned. That person is also a father or a mother, and have feelings. They are like cult characters but when we talk about their children, they can’t resist tears.

    I know we can’t help everyone. But at least our own parents, grandparents and elders we know of. You know, our children will see how we treat grandparents and elders, and the day will come for US too 🙂

    I know you will do everything you can for your parents Harleena 🙂 They are so lucky.

    Have a wonderful Thursday dear 🙂


    • Harleena Singh

      2013-03-21 at 8:17 pm

      Hi Mayura,

      Glad you could relate so well with the post 🙂

      You’re right – we do need to create a friendly, safe, and comfortable environment for our elders, or keep these factors in mind when we build a house where they would visit or live in. I’m sure you would, once you make your own house, knowing the care and concern you have for your elders.

      Ah…I never mind when you share more of yourself and your thoughts with me, and you know that. I look forward to them in-fact. 🙂

      Distances are the biggest problem and stop us from reaching out to our loved ones, but I think that ways your grandparents are doing wonderfully well if they are able to visit all of you even twice a year, which isn’t easy at their age.

      I can understand when you mentioned your grandmother not wanting to leave her home. The same is the case with my in-laws and other elders as they get attached to their own home and prefer to remain there and travel less. I think it’s their own domain and they feel comfortable within, as compared to going to a new place and making adjustments there – that’s what I think.

      Oh yes…whenever you tell them to take care or if we offer to do certain things for them, they rarely listen and say they can manage well. While most elders are able to manage depending on their age and health, there are still many who aren’t, yet they won’t admit it. Absolutely! They hate to be dependent on anyone, more so if it’s their kids, who they don’t want to trouble. Though again, there are few I must admit, who try to make life miserable for their kids or burden them with their worries and problems, even when they don’t have any – or perhaps they do this because something else is bothering them within that they can’t pinpoint, so it all comes out in this form. I guess both kinds are there, and that’s normal too, as we even have all kinds of people taking care of their parents – the good and genuine ones, and the other kinds.

      As our parents or elders age, they become like kids, and yes like you mentioned – stubborn kids sometimes, who will always want to have their way at the end, unless they are the understanding kinds and would listen to the advice of their kids too. I can well relate to hiring help and they not listening, because we also tried that our end and thought of getting a full time help, but they just don’t listen and say till we can, we are alright and managing!

      Sorry to hear about your aunt – and yes, this is what happens and we as kids are often helpless. I guess in such cases, it works best if the kids shift in with their parents so that they are there at least when need arises in case of such circumstances – of course, if their work permits.

      I agree, we talk of our grandparents who are within the same country and at a short distance or near to our place, but what about those who live overseas or are just left to live their own lives – I feel so sorry for them. Just wish more people could understand and value their parents and keep them with them till their last days, or take care of them in their best ways instead of just letting them lead an isolated life. We need to remember that how we treat our parents is how our kids will treat us, because they notice everything we do and say – so we need to watch ourselves.

      I do try and do the best I can, though I know it can never be enough as my Dad lives far too. I make up when I visit him or when he comes over, but am glad my sister’s there to take care of him at least, while I do the needful here with my in-laws. Wish I had more time, which again I need to take out – no excuses as they say. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by, and for leaving such a wonderful comment. Have a lovely week ahead 🙂

  9. Unknown Mami

    2013-03-21 at 6:50 am

    As a child, I used to be terrified that I would one day have to take care of my mother. It seemed positively overwhelming. Now, I don’t feel the same way about it. Life is about being cared for and caring for others.

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-03-21 at 12:22 pm

      Hi Claudya – nice to see you again 🙂

      I guess most of us as kids have those fears of taking care or losing our parents one day. But that’s what life is all about as you mentioned – caring for each other.

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  10. Shalu Sharma

    2013-03-20 at 8:52 pm

    Lovely article Harleena,

    Old age is something that effects us all. No one gets younger and one day, its going to catch up, its all about time. What goes round comes round. Its not only our duty but and ethical obligation to look after and care for our elderly. I am a firm believer of looking after our elderly at home. I can understand that its hard work but that’s the way it is.

    I have seen my own parents look after their parents and I will do what it takes to care for them. Its a hard fact of life.

    Thank you for these amazing suggestions on ways to take care of elderly people.
    God Bless

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-03-21 at 12:26 am

      Hi Shalu,

      Glad you liked the article and could relate to it 🙂

      Yes indeed, all of us are going to grow through old age, though most of us don’t want to accept this fact, nor ever think of putting ourselves in the shoes of our elders and feel what they are feeling. It is our duty to take care of our parent’s and something every child must do – period! But sadly, many don’t think like you and me and have other priorities or thoughts about the same, so I hope the post sends across some message to them.

      Yes, taking care of our parents or elders is no easy task as it takes a lot of your time and patience too. Moreover, if you have ailing parents or elders – you simply live for them and do it happily and willingly, keeping your other problems aside.

      We learn from our parents, just as our children will learn from us, and taking care of our elders should be on list of things to be done.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views. 🙂

  11. Debbie

    2013-03-20 at 8:05 pm

    Very useful post Harleena.

    I have been there and it takes lots of patients. One thing that is very important is that if there are more than one sibling that they all get on the same page and work close together when it comes to parents.

    The problem that I ran into is my mother lived 200 miles from me. I did have to bring her to my house, but do to the fact that I had 2 levels in my house, the stairs were very hard for her.

    As for medications you are right this is something that has to be watched very closely. i had trusted my brother and sister-in-law when it came to this. Many of her medications are what cut her life shorter.

    Doctors love to just put elder on another pill, and this needs to be watched very closely at all times.

    Again a great useful post and I do hope it helps people stop and think about when the day comes.

    I did get to spend the last 4 months of my mothers life seeing her everyday and loved that. It was wonderful having her with me. I will always cherish those months.

    Thanks again and hugs to you.

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-03-20 at 10:01 pm

      Hi Debbie,

      You’re absolutely right – it does require lots of time and patience, not to mention dedication to take care of elders. I agree, when the need arises all the siblings come together to take care, unless they’ve had really major problems with their parents or elders earlier. But then they live with that regret of not having been there for their parents once they are gone, which is indeed sad.

      Ah…yes, the stairs are a problem with the aged, and that’s one reason they should opt for houses with just the main ground floor. Again, sometimes the situations are such and they need to climb the stairs, but then it pains them while doing so. My Dad too stays on the top floor of his house, though thankfully he’s fully mobile and quick with the stairs as yet. However, he has the option to shift on the ground floor if need be.

      Medication surely needs to be handled with care, and sometimes over-dosage does more harm than good. Oh yes…doctors just love prescribing pills, not realizing that each one has it’s side-effects too. Moreover, they need to be taken only with supervision and self-medication is an absolute no-no, especially with our elders as it might react with something they might be taking from before, if they are.

      I’m glad you were there with your Mom right through, and am sure she would be proud of you wherever she is now. And remember, our parents never leave our side as I say so often. They always remain as our guardian angels guiding us throughout our lives. Hugs back to you Debbie. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and adding so much more to the post. 🙂

  12. Sapna

    2013-03-20 at 6:24 pm

    Hi Harleena Di,

    Great share! I wish God could have given the opportunity to serve the parents, I really missed them and at times get terribly upset when need some basic advice. I make sure that my in-laws are more than happy with my attitude, even though they still are very active and doing everything on their own and infact helping me at times.Their blessings says everything, when I meet them in the morning. With times changing we don’t know what future has in store for us but I believe in doing the best for our elders. I really get hurt when I see people misbehaving with their elders and then sending them to old age homes. I feel the same can happen to them as well by their children.Thanks Di for this share. Sapna

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-03-20 at 8:42 pm

      Hi Sapna,

      I agree, with women it doesn’t really work out as they tend to get married and move away from their homes to their in-laws or with their husbands. And even if they aren’t married, they leave home nowadays for higher education and then to seek jobs, which happens with men too.

      I too miss my Dad and wish I were nearby to take care of him, though am glad my sister is there so it keeps me less worried, especially after I lost my Mom.

      Nice to know more about your in-laws and if they are able to help you, then hats-off to them for being so good and to be able to understand your situation and be there for you. I’m sure you must be making a wonderful daughter-in-law too staying with them. 🙂

      Yes, some people just don’t have time for their elders or even if they do, they prefer to not take care of them and send them to old age homes, which is something not-acceptable to me too. You are right, they forget that one day they too will be in the same shoes and how they would feel if their kids treated them the same way. I’m glad in our culture such things don’t happen all that often, but yes, it’s catching up with us too.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views with us. 🙂

  13. B K chowla

    2013-03-20 at 10:43 am

    It is a serious situation.

    While, we are now encouraging women to get higher education, get into a profession and become an economic support to the family, the size of the families is reducing. It is very rare that we see a couple with more than two children.

    With both, husband and wife involved in their respective professions — they have very little time to, look after the elderly.

    You see my worry?…..Elderly will be pushed into stingy old age homes.

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-03-20 at 12:32 pm

      Hi BK,

      It’s surely a serious problem and growing by the day in our country too. With both parents working the children and even the elders are literally on their own unless they have someone at home to take care of them.

      I guess this is a situation that is going to increase get worse with time, and it works best if our elders get themselves involved in something or the other that keeps them occupied too. But of course, we need to be with whenever possible. I’m glad in our country we are still nearer to them as compared to other countries where they have to lead their lives alone or in institutions. I hope this doesn’t happen in our country, though I know your worry is genuine and something that might happen sooner or later.

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  14. Hiten

    2013-03-20 at 3:20 am

    Hi Harleena,

    This was a wonderful post on taking care of the elderly.

    The section on being socially connected really stood out for me and I believe it is important to help elderly people to socialise. I’m a member of a public speaking group and all my friends there (except two) are seniors. I would say 95% of the club members are 65 plus. And I do get the sense that this club is a great way for them to get together with friends once month, share each other’s company and use public speaking as a way to do this.

    Thank you.

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-03-20 at 12:15 pm

      Hi Hiten,

      Glad you liked the post and could relate to it 🙂

      I agree, that if elders socialize and interact with others their age, they tend to feel young and good about themselves. I guess their minds are diverted from not doing anything – to being a part of something productive – isn’t it?

      Ah…nice to know about your public speaking group, and it’s amazing to find a majority of them are over 65 years! It’s good that they have found a way to be with each other, and this must be helping them to spend their time and leave their worries aside too.

      Thanks for stopping by and adding more value to the post. 🙂

  15. Susan Ekins

    2013-03-20 at 2:27 am

    They say it takes a tribe to raise a child–that’s also a good way to take care of a parent. My sisters and I both worked when my Mom needed care. We hired someone to come in part-time during the day to be with her. My sisters took turns staying overnight and weekends with her (they are both single.) And I took her to the doctors and prepared small meals. It is very stressful trying to make decisions like, “Does she need to go to the ER? Or can she wait until tomorrow to go to the doctor?” and it is difficult to see them in pain. Caregivers are under a lot of stress and need to take good care of themselves. This helps them be patient, too. They also need relief sometimes from friends or family.

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-03-20 at 11:53 am

      Hi Susan – nice to see you,

      Absolutely! when our parents age, they become very similar to kids and in fact need more of looking after.

      Nice to know more about your family, and it’s good that you had the privilege to look after your Mom along with your sister. Yes, taking care is very challenging, though it’s good if you have family and friends to help out.

      I agree, caregivers are under a lot of stress and if they don’t take care of themselves, they won’t be able to manage their parents or elders. Hope your Mom is well now. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with us 🙂

  16. Oluwaseun Babajide

    2013-03-20 at 12:50 am

    I love the pictures you use in this article. I love elderly people and I think we should pay more attention to them.

    Many thanks,


    • Harleena Singh

      2013-03-20 at 11:14 am

      Hi Seun,

      Glad you liked the pictures, which often take me more time looking up than writing the post 🙂 Yes indeed, we need to look after and pay more attention to our elders, and that isn’t asking for much I think. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  17. Michael Belk

    2013-03-19 at 10:07 pm

    Harleena, I feel that it takes a special person to take care of anyone. There will be challenges.

    However, the elderly are like chunks of wisdom. They have seen more than most young people can remember.

    We have to remember we all will be old one day and they did not ask for their condition.

    It is honorable to take care of someone when they need you the most. I feel sorry for anyone incapable of taking care of themselves.

    Paying someone to do it, should be your last resort and based on medical necessity.

    Great article.

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-03-19 at 11:50 pm

      Hi Michael,

      Yes indeed, taking care of elders or anyone for that matter is a challenge, which only few can really do because they have to put their complete selves when they take care and accept the hurdles and challenges willingly.

      Old age is going to come upon all of us some day, so we need to remember that tomorrow it will be our turn and we too might have to undergo all that are parents are undergoing. Of course, no one wants to be taken care of, and our elders didn’t want to be in the state they are in, but they are helpless and look to us for help. It should be our duty and we should take it as a blessing – a honor as you mentioned when it’s our turn to look after them.

      I agree, paying someone to take care of your parents should be the last resort, and I’m so glad in our country this trend hasn’t picked up much, though it just might.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views with all of us. 🙂

  18. Evan

    2013-03-19 at 9:16 pm

    Very touching. Really.

    We all have or had elder relatives or parents and it is certainly our duty to take a good care about them. You know, once my sister had a funny incident. Our mom was calling her a few days in a raw but she didn’t pick up. I dunno why, she was busy or tired or smth.. Anyway, after that some unknown number called, she picked up and it was mom’s doctor calling her to tell that mom feels not good, something with heart. The sister came to her house straight away, the doctor was there writing a prescription on a piece of paper. He told smth to her and gave her the paper. When she looked there, it said – Pick up the phone when Mother is calling you…

    PS. I was in army that time.

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-03-19 at 11:39 pm

      Hi Evan,

      Nice to know that the post touched you in some way as that was what I was wanting that it strikes a chord somewhere in each one of us 🙂

      You are right, as children it’s our duty to take care of our parents and elders, and this is the least we can do. More so, they need us in their old age so we should be there for them anytime.

      I liked the story you shared about your Mom and sister, something similar to getting an intuition I think when you feel that something isn’t alright, and this happens when people are close to each other (in most cases). I guess your Mom might have called thinking something is amiss though your sister couldn’t receive the call that time, and later got to know why she was called. This is a lesson for all of us to keep calling our parents often, whether there is a reason or not – isn’t it? Nice to know you were in the army too.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with all of us 🙂

  19. Carol B

    2013-03-19 at 8:29 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    Thanks for such a great detailed list. Though I have not been in the position of handling the primary care for an elderly parent or other family member, my brother has, and there were times where he’d call about issues and such. I was quite a bit younger, and really had no clue what to say nor add input to the situation. Wish I had this list back then.

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-03-19 at 11:21 pm

      Hi Carol,

      Glad you liked the post. 🙂

      I’m sure your brother must’ve done a good job of taking care of his elders, though I agree it’s not easy and issues do arise sometimes because we aren’t really prepared half the time. I just thought of sharing this now even though it’s been on my mind for a while now, and it’s never too late I guess to try and help out whomsoever I can – isn’t it?

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  20. Corinne Rodrigues

    2013-03-19 at 7:37 pm

    Geriatric care is going to be a big issue going forward and I can see that already in India. Too many people are struggling to find proper care for their aging loved ones. Sadly, at times, people have to depend on institutions and there aren’t enough of good ones around.

    This is a very timely, relevant and well-researched post, Harleena. I see you have even focused on the caregiver’s needs which are so important too.

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-03-19 at 11:15 pm

      Hi Corinne,

      You are absolutely right because when I saw the stats – I was shocked too!

      Most people lead busy lives and find it tough to take care of their elders even though they want to, which results in either sending them to old age homes or providing for them to be looked after. But all of this isn’t easy for either sides. And yes, there aren’t many good institutions around that we can really rely on.

      Ah…yes, caregivers need to look after themselves in order to take care of anyone else, and that should be their first priority.

      Thanks for stopping by. Always nice to have you over. 🙂

  21. Christy

    2013-03-19 at 6:58 pm

    My dad had to go through this a few years ago and it isn’t an easy thing to deal with. Taking care of an adult is basically similar to taking care of a stubborn, set in their ways overgrown child. They don’t want to give up their independence and are often times in denial about their condition.

    I noticed one thing that you didn’t mention regarding elderly care or caring for someone with a disability, there are often times a need for increased safety features. My mom had a rare form of Alzheimer’s called Pick’s disease and she had a habit of sneaking out of the house. My dad had to install keyed locks for a short amount of time to keep her from sneaking out. Because she wasn’t at the point where full time care was needed but he didn’t need her out wandering the streets all day either.

    I left a link to her story that I published on my hubpages account a year ago. Not only do I share her story from detailed notes that my dad left, but I also included caregiver information for each stage of her disability.

    Thank you for sharing your article.

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-03-19 at 11:04 pm

      Welcome to the blog Christy!

      I can understand – things are never easy when our parents are ailing and need to be taken care of, and they are like children but sometimes children who don’t listen 🙂

      You are right – there was a lot to write, but the length of this post had already become too long so I couldn’t mention a lot of things and left them for another post. However, I’m glad you shared it with all of us here. I’ve never heard of Pick’s diseases, and it almost seems like sleep walking, which can be very dangerous, especially in Alzheimer’s. I’m glad you shared her story so that many others would benefit from it and your experience as well.

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  22. Ahsan

    2013-03-19 at 6:55 pm

    Hello Harleena Singh,

    Another heart touching post. Older or elder persons for example, grandfather, grandmother or our parents help us raise in our feet. But once they become inactive, its hard for them to sustain in this world. They think themselves alone in the world. At that time, it is duty of every children or younger ones to take care of them. It is the religious as well as natural duty to help them so they will understand that they are not alone.

    They will feel themselves strong & confidence. Mostly in European countries I saw parents or older persons live in old home when they grew old. The reason because they have no one to take care. In every year their children go to them once with a bucket of flowers to celebrate their birthday. But my que. is this the reason your parents raise you for 20 long years just to celebrate their birthday once in a year by going to old home? Is It their reward?

    I feel terribly shocked to see this. But in Asia still every family maintain good bondage. You have added good points how to take care elder persons. I learn lot from this elaborate article

    I hope we’ll continue respect our elders as gratitude how they raise us when we are kids.

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-03-19 at 10:26 pm

      Hi Ahsan,

      Nice to know that the post touched your heart 🙂

      You are right – our parents and elders are the ones who raise us and it’s because of them we are here in this world, doing what we do. But sadly, not all of us are ready and willing to look after our parents, even though we should – isn’t it? I wish more people would realize this simple fact and be there for their parents or elders. It’s in their old age they need us more than ever, and to turn our back towards then at that time – is something not done!

      Absolutely! Most people tend to leave their parents alone in their old age, mainly due to their jobs or because they are working in some other place. And yes, they try to show their presence by visiting their parents once a year and feel they have done their duty. I’m glad in our country this isn’t the trend (not as yet at least!)- but slowly some people have started doing this here too. Just hope and pray they realize the value of their parents while they are still around.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views with everyone.:)

  23. mike

    2013-03-19 at 6:38 pm

    Very comprehensive article. As an exercise professional, I can concur that regular exercise even at an older age is vital for mobility and decreased dependance on others.

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-03-19 at 10:08 pm

      Welcome to the blog Mike!

      Glad you liked the post, and yes, it is comprehensive as I wanted to put in everything that anyone who is taking care of elders might need. I guess they don’t have to hunt elsewhere then 😉

      Yes indeed, exercise is vital for all of us, but just as you mentioned it’s all the more important for elders as it ensures they don’t have any health issues related to mobility or of any other kind too.

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  24. Corina Ramos

    2013-03-19 at 6:25 pm

    This post is close to my heart. I’m currently taking care of my mother who is diabetic and with other health issues. I take her to all her doctor’s appointments and make sure she’s taking her meds, etc.

    While at first I must admit that it was a little overwhelming and I did have moments when I thought “OK, why has this responsibility fallen on me” but as I grew more spiritually I realized it is not a chore but an honor to take care of my parents.

    And you couldn’t be more right about our own health issues. I suffer from depression and anxiety and with all the things I have going on my family, my business, my parents, my volunteering, it’s very easy to feel overwhelmed and slip into that state but I found prayer to be my best coping mechanism 🙂

    You’ve given some great advice for taking care of the elders in our lives. The best one I think is sharing a meal. I love to hear my mom talk about my grandparents and stories of when we were growing up during our lunch dates. Even if there are the same stories, I never get tired of hearing them to take the trip down memory lane 🙂

    One of the things I do is not treat my mother as if she is incapable of doing things for herself. The worst feeling a parent can have is when their own kids are treating them like a child. They need to feel they still have their independence, and that’s very important.

    Wonderful post Harleena! Have a great day 🙂

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-03-19 at 9:58 pm

      Hi Corina,

      Glad you could relate to the post so well 🙂

      I can understand how tough it must be for you to take care of your ailing mother, and to handle everything else that comes along with it. Your words reminded me of my Mom too, and all that I had to do in her last days too while she was suffering from cancer.

      You are so right – it does cause stress and you do feel overwhelmed as you feel why me and no one else, and this feeling is what most of us undergo too. But I guess when you see their state and realize that they look up to you for help and support, you feel blessed and honored to be that one. This realization comes with time though.

      You’re surely going through a lot Corina, and that’s commendable indeed. I’m glad prayers are helping you – they always do – don’t they? It’s all easier said than done, and I can well relate to that,as the feelings were mutual, though for me it all ended a long time back. But yes, I can foresee and know that such times will come and one’s just got to be mentally prepared for it. We all need to take care of ourselves first, so that we are fit enough to take care of our parents or elders – that’s an absolute must.

      Yes indeed, sharing meals and spending time with our elders or parents, and just hearing them is half the battle won. I agree, we should never make them feel as if they can’t do anything, even though we know they aren’t all that capable. I guess we need to keep encouraging and motivating them to do things, which keeps them going and makes them feel good too.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with all of us. Have a nice day as well 🙂

  25. Barbara Charles

    2013-03-19 at 6:01 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    I’ve gone through this once with mom and it’s really a difficult situation, especially if there have been no preparations financial or otherwise. It makes it very difficult on the children or caregivers if things have not been setup prior. It’s actually one of my ‘whys’ as to why I run my own business. One of the things is so that my children will not be burdened financially with me. I’ve seen it too often and do not like the struggles I’ve seen and how sometimes the family (the elderly and the caregivers). All of your tips are excellent and necessary (speaking from experience). Thank you for writing such an indepth and comprehensive posts. God bless, Barbara.

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-03-19 at 9:36 pm

      Hi Barbara – nice to have you back 🙂

      Ah…you seem to have undergone most of the things mentioned, and yes, we are often caught unawares when crisis strikes. If our parents aren’t living with us, it does become tough for them to manage things, and for us too. So, it’s always makes sense to have things arranged well beforehand.

      I agree, most of us want to earn enough so that we aren’t a burden to our kids in our old age, because not everyone likes to take care of an ailing person in that age.

      Thanks for stopping by and your words of appreciation. Hope the post helps those who are taking care of their elders, or might have to in the near future. 🙂

  26. Theodore Nwangene

    2013-03-19 at 2:28 pm

    Hi Harleena,
    This is really a very useful post as always. I think it is really our duty to take care of our parents or grand parents when they grow old. They were there for us all the while when we were toddlers so, why won’t we care for them when they will turn back to a toddler too?

    The best thing is to always keep them ever happy and avoid anything that will cause their B.P to rise. Stay out of trouble so that they won’t be thinking much about you.

    And we have to remember that if we really take care of them while they were alive, they will give us their blessing and in turn, our own kids will also take care of us when we grow old too.

    My grand parents are long gone and my parents are still very active, this will help me to know how to take care of them when they are tired.

    Nice Quote indeed….You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair. Can’t agree more.

    Thanks for sharing sweet heart.

    BTW: Seems i bit the race this time…haha

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-03-19 at 3:02 pm

      Hi Theodore,

      Absolutely! The least we can do when our parents, grandparents, or other elders in our family grow old is take care of them. I guess in our busy lives we tend to forget all that they did for us when we were young.

      Our parents and elders always think about us I think, as we are their children. But yes, we shouldn’t do anything to cause them trouble or as you mentioned to raise their B.P, which happens when we do things that may cause them anxiety or worry.

      You raised a very good point of our kids learning from us. Yes, they see how their parents take care of their grandparents, and that’s exactly what they will follow when they grow up.

      I lost my grandparents long back too, but it’s the blessings of my Dad and other elders in the family that keeps me going. Ah…I loved that quote and the last one too.

      Oh yes…You beat the race this time – way ahead I would say. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views with us. 🙂

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14 Tips for Elderly Care at Home of Aging Parents and Seniors

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