If you currently have aging or elderly parents, you know that they may be in need of help in order to keep them safe and healthy.
As a child of elderly parents, it’s crucial to understand how you can be a better caregiver to those who took care of you through your formative years.
Read on to learn how you can prepare to be a caregiver as well as some tips and suggestions that will make the transition easier for everyone involved.
Stay in Good Communication
Not only do the elderly tend to feel more isolated, but they may also need a bit of extra communication to ensure that they’re doing alright. As a child of elderly parents, try to call them at least every other day, even if it’s just to say hello.
When you keep the lines of communication flowing, it offers reassurance and comfort. If your parents are able, use an app like Facetime so you can enjoy a more intimate, “face-to-face” experience when you talk.
Even if you have a busy schedule, try to call your parents in the morning before you head to work, or in the evening when you get home. If you happen to live near your aging parents, it’s even better if you can stop by for a visit on a weekly basis whenever possible.
Personal contact is crucial to ensuring that your parents feel loved and that they’re being taken care of properly. Offer to stop by for a meal or bring them groceries so you can keep the family unit intact. If you don’t live nearby, enlist the help of a trusted neighbor or family friend to perform weekly visits.
Offer Your Elderly Parents a Place to Live
Whether you have just one parent living or if both are still with you, it might be time to consider their current living arrangements. As people age, it can be more difficult to get around and there could also be a few serious safety issues at play.
Consider offering a spare bedroom to your parents or if you have the budget, you might be able to construct an addition to your home. A granny pod found here: https://actonadu.com/blog/granny-pods-the-newest-trend-in-senior-care is another awesome idea that can give your mom or dad the freedom and independence they crave while still being separate from your home.
If you have an extra room over the garage, consider moving one of your older children there and giving your parents a bedroom. There are a lot of options available if you decide that having mom and dad live with you is something you can handle.
Asking your elderly parents to move in is a monumental decision. Make sure you talk to your spouse and children and go over your budget before you decide if this is the right choice for you and your family.
Perform a Safety Check
Most older adults want to maintain their independence, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t use some extra help. If your elderly parents are still living at home, it’s time to do a thorough safety check to make sure their home doesn’t present any dangers.
Install shower bars in the bathroom and add a bench to the tub so your parents have something to grab onto when they get in and out. This simple addition can keep them safe and prevent slips and falls in the bathroom.
Move anything in upper cabinets down to the lower tier so your parents won’t have to struggle to reach food and other items that are too high up. Make sure all carpet is secure and remove any loose area rugs on hard surface floors so they don’t accidentally slip and fall.
Check exterior and interior lights and change out any dead lightbulbs. The same applies to smoke alarms – check the batteries and replace them with new ones every six months.
If you’re not sure what to look for, consider asking the local fire department or other nonprofit organizations for assistance. They can perform an analysis of your parent’s home and offer suggestions for how you can make their home safer.
Get to Know the Doctor
Your parents probably don’t want you to worry about their health, but as a caregiver, it’s important to know where they stand. Get to know your parent’s doctor if possible and find out what their health-related issues are.
When you stay in communication with the doctor, it also helps you to maintain your parent’s appointments and scheduling. While HIPPA rules may prohibit the doctor from divulging too much information, you should still try to start a relationship with them in case they need to relay any information to you.
Be as proactive as possible when it comes to your elderly parents and their health. The more information you have, the better you’ll be able to provide the senior caregiving they need.
Take Care of Mom and Dad
Try these tips to help care for your elderly parents so they can live a fulfilling life. Make frequent visits if you live nearby, and take a closer look at your parent’s home to make sure that everything is safe.
Consider offering your aging parents a place to stay by having them move into your home if it’s feasible. The more involved you are in their life, the happier and longer it should be.
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