We all want to do what’s best for our parents, and there will come a time when they will need our help. Knowing how to care for your parents can be difficult, so we have compiled a few tips to make it easier for you.
Assess the Level of Care Needed
Some older people may not recognise that they need help or are unwilling to admit that they need it. If you think that your parents may need help, you should assess the level of care they need. If your parents have mobility problems or chronic illnesses, then offering them help will improve their quality of life.
Make Some Home Improvements
If your elderly parents want to age in place at home, you’ll have to make certain modifications to their house to accommodate them. Move anything they could trip up on, such as area rugs, cables, and junk, to prevent falls. Make sure their home is well lit, so they can see well if they get up to use the bathroom in the night.
If they only have a handrail on one side of the staircase, you should add a second one on the other side, and if your parents have limited mobility, you should consider adding a stairlift. Other accessibility friendly things you could add to their home are ramps at the front and back door, bedrails, and a riser recliner chair. You should consider installing a shower chair and grab bards near the toilet, and if they find turning the tap difficult, get some tap turners to make it easier for them.
Older people can be more sensitive to changes in temperature, so you should consider researching the best roof heating systems or getting a smart thermostat to regulate the temperature in your parents’ home, so they are more comfortable.
Communicate With Your Loved One
Keep your parents in the loop in regard to their care. Don’t make any decisions without their input. Having someone else taking control of their lives can be distressing, so you need to involve them in the process. By doing this, you’re showing them that you care about their wants and needs, and that you’re not trying to push them away. Figure out what they want, since all the decisions you make about their care will be affecting them directly. You should take their feelings into account, but you may have to make some decisions on their behalf if you feel they are in danger or unable to make their own decisions.
You can’t do everything yourself. Hiring a carer (or several carers) will give you respite from the challenges of caring for your parents. Even if other family members offer to help, your parents may require specialist care that your relatives are unable to provide, especially if they suffer from a physical illness or something like dementia.
A professional carer will have the knowledge and skills required to care for your elderly parents. Some carers will visit several times a day to check on your parents, but if they require around the clock care, you can hire live-in carers. Professional carers can cook and clean for your parents, help with bathing and using the bathroom, help them with other day-to-day tasks, and make sure your parents are taking their medication.
Think About Future Care Options
You need to plan for the future. Your parents’ needs will change over time, and they may require different levels of care. There may come a point where aging in place with in-home care isn’t a viable option anymore. There are several options you and your parents should discuss, and you should learn more about them before you make a decision.
If they’re struggling at home but they still want to live independently, then downsizing to sheltered housing may be a good option for them. Residential homes and assisted living homes will also provide your parents with independence, but there will be staff on-site to provide help. If your parents have serious medical problems, then a nursing home might be a better option.
Look After Yourself
You can’t look after your loved ones if you don’t look after yourself. Depending on how much care your parents require, caring for them could become a full-time job. Between that and work, this can cause stress and burn-out. If you decide to hire help, this will give you a bit of time off to take a break and to get some rest and enough sleep. Don’t neglect your own needs because you’re tending to someone else’s.
Fitting in work is hard, so take time to look at other options, such as outsourcing work when you can and visiting sites like this website for help with improving your SEO, so you can focus on more important things.
Caring for elderly parents can be complicated as there are so many factors to take into account, such what they want versus what they need. Take your time to research your options and keep them involved in the process.
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