Tips to Take Care of Elderly Parents: Caring for Your Aging Parents
It can be difficult to take care of elderly parents. Make no mistake about that. They may often need help with basic tasks like bathing, dressing, and using the bathroom. They may also need help with more complicated tasks like taking medication properly or managing their finances.
Now, although there are lots of great homes for seniors around you, we understand your need to keep your aging parents as close to you as possible. Sometimes, your aging parents might prefer staying with you instead of staying at any of the most luxurious homes for seniors. That is why in this blog post, we will discuss 10 tips that can make taking care of your elderly parents a bit easier.
So keep reading for helpful advice!
Preparing your parents mentally
This is assuming that they have not been living with you and they will be moving into a new environment. Here is the thing. Changing the environment is tough for anyone, especially seniors. That is why if you intend to provide caregiving services for your aging parents in your home, you need to prepare their minds for the move. And how do you do that?
Talk to them about moving them. Get to find out what they expect. Tell them about your expectations.
Discuss things like their freedom of movement so that everyone is on the same page.
Understand How Much Care Is Needed
Now, this is really important. Caregiving can be straining and is best handled by professionals who have
been trained and prepared for the rigors of the job. Taking care of your aging parents yourself is a noble
thing to do.
But it might get pretty stressful in a bit if you are not cut out for the level of care that your older loved
one needs. So it would be best if you ascertained that first.
Compile all the tasks involved in taking care of them to understand better what providing care for them
will cost you mentally, physically, and of course, financially. That way, you'd be able to determine if you
are not biting more than you can chew or if you will be handling the situation.
Get Them To Take Their Medications The Right Way
So now that you have decided to take them in and their minds are prepared and all, how do you start
being a caregiver to them. Well, one of the most important things you can do for your aging parents is to
get them to take their medications properly.
This will often involve filling their prescriptions, reminding them to take their pills, and keeping track of
what they are supposed to be taking and when they are supposed to be taking them. Aging folks often
have issues with remembering when to take their medications. So you might want to get a pillbox.
Another great idea would be setting up a daily reminder on your phone or their phone to make sure that
they take the medications at the right time.
Help Your Parents Stay Active
It is also important that you keep your aging folks active. Now, it might be a tad difficult if they have
senior mobility issues. Or if they dont get to do some of those things they enjoy doing. We suggest that
you dig deep and find other activities that can keep them active and engaged, even with mobility issues.
Board games and walks are some of these activities. Talk to your parents to find out what works for
Encourage Healthy Eating
Nutrition plays a great role in the lives of older people. So it is extremely important to make sure that your parents are eating healthy meals all the time. It's a lot easier to do this if they live with you. And it is just the opposite if they don't.
If they don't live with you, you might want to consider making their meals and getting them to eat them.
If they are still fit enough to cook for themselves, all you might need is to stock up the kitchen with healthy, easy to prepare food.
Another great option is to take advantage of local meal services. Just ensure that the meals services deal
in healthy foods, and you are good to go.
Organize Their Finances
One other way to take care of your aging parents is to help keep an eye on their finances. Helping them
stay financially situated is key to their mental and physical health. So you should ensure that you provide
them with enough money to take care of their bills and expenses. You should also help them manage
their finances wisely. Some of the ways we think you could do that include setting up a budget for them
or getting them retirement savings plans.
Provide All The Emotional Support That You Can
Seniors have emotional issues that they often struggle with. Heck, when you live long enough, you will too. The difference between you and the professional caregiver is that since you are their blood, they expect quite a lot of emotional support from you.
Now that might not come easy, but it is something that you must do. So be ready to be there for them emotionally when they feel lonely, sad, or frustrated. Spend quality time with them as often as you can. Try talking with them about those things that interest them too.
In addition, you want to keep an eye on their physical health. Talk with their doctor if you notice any changes in their health.
Be Realistic About What You Can Provide
This is important so that you don't get burned out in providing caregiving services to your aging parents. It is important to understand what you can handle without getting additional help. Understand how much care you can provide comfortably without affecting your health, relationships, work, and other duties.
Get A Safety Plan In Place
You must create a safety plan that helps you keep them safe.
This safety plan should include: Putting together a list of emergency contacts, making their/your home as safe as possible, and having an emergency plan. A well-thought-out emergency plan will help everyone feel more secure and happier.
Get The Help You Need
If you have realized that you can't provide all the care that your aging parents need, you might need
additional help. Here are some options that you might want to explore:
- Enroll your parent in an adult day program
- Get a professional caregiver that helps out around the house daily
- Get a volunteer companion
- Enlist family and close friends
Taking care of your elderly parents is a great option as it gives you more time to bond with them and provides some personal caregiving services. Now, as great as that might sound, you need to go about it the right way, or you might just end up frustrating everyone involved. That is why we have provided some tips for you. Hopefully, you apply them so that you can offer the best care to your aging parents.