By knowing about the kinds of resources and services available in the community, this can help you know who and where to reach out to as soon as your parent needs assistance.
Having advanced knowledge of resources and services available to your parent will enable you to set up the required support system far more quickly. Ultimately, you are less likely to need to take time off from work; and less likely to be distracted with worrying about your parent while at work.
This support system can start off very basic in the beginning, however, as your parent needs more assistance, this support system will require greater planning and coordination.
Knowledge not only empowers you, but also reduces stress and anxiety about what to do when your help is needed.
Clearly, planning ahead reduces worry as you will have an action plan in place... Ultimately you want to reduce stress as it can be toxic to your health and well-being!
The vast majority of caregivers find that beyond hands-on care, they also provide financial assistance to pay for their parent's care. Therefore, it is imperative that you start to prepare for the financial costs early. What are the cost of services? Which can you get federal / state assistance for? What are your own resources?
Ultimately, you need to figure out your parent's financial situation, their wishes and needs, and what you can contribute.
The critical issue is that you listen to what your parent wants. What are their needs and wishes? Ultimately, you must do everything to promote their autonomy and independence to the greatest extent possible while ensuring their safety and well-being.
At the end of the day, by being proactive and planning (before a crisis occurs) you can prevent unnecessary stress, lost productivity at work, and financial cost.
Ultimately, planning ahead is good not only for you, but also for your parent and the rest of your family.