Growing old has its perks, but it also brings a number of challenges to the table. Caring for elderly parents who are no longer able to take care of themselves is something many of us will have to deal with at some point. Being prepared helps.
You’ll need to embrace the possibility that your parents will require your help in the future. The silver lining here is that you’re neither the first nor the last person who had to deal with this issue. As it turns out, there are things you can do that will help you when the time comes. Here are a few of them.
Arm Yourself with Empathy
Dealing with aging parents can push the limits of your patience. As we grow old, our cognitive abilities tend to deteriorate. Simply talking with older parents can be challenging, especially if they are set in their ways. However, the only productive way to deal with this is to arm yourself with empathy.
Understand that your parents aren’t being difficult because they want to, but rather because they’re getting older. Apply as much patience and understanding as you can when communicating with your parents because being able to talk to them is a baseline requirement for many of the tips we’ll discuss in this short guide.
Come Up With a Plan
Dealing with any situation requires you to make a plan. The same applies to providing your parents with the care they require. To make a plane, you’ll need to assess your parents’ needs. Find out if they need:
- Home care
- Financial care
- Specific medical care
- Mobility assistance
- Nursing care
Each of these presents a set of individual challenges you’ll have to deal with. Being realistic with your assessment is crucial if you plan on successfully taking care of your parents.
Working with elderly parents who aren’t able to take care of themselves can be taxing. Many people are finding it difficult to balance caring for their parents with their professional and social lives. Home care experts from http://assistinghands.com/66/ohio/columbus argue that hiring caregivers solves two important problems — it ensures that your parents are getting the best possible care they can get, while also giving you enough room to take care of your own personal obligations.
Letting strangers take care of your parents is often difficult for both you and your loved ones. However, it’s important to understand that professional caregivers are capable of delivering the type of care you likely aren’t.
Create a Safe Environment for Your Parents
If your parents are showing signs of diminishing mobility, it’s a good idea to make sure that their home is safe enough considering their condition. Head over to your parent’s home and eliminate any safety hazards you notice. These come in the form of trip hazards such as cords, general clutter, and congested walkways.
There’s also the issue of stairs. At some point, it’s a good idea to reduce the need for navigating stairwells to a minimum. If that’s not possible, make sure that your parents have something to grab onto when going up and down the stairs.
Lastly, make sure that your parents don’t have to bend over or climb on stools in order to reach items they might need.
Help with Finances
Caring for elderly parents often implies taking on a share of their financial obligations and expenses. This is especially true if you’ve decided to hire a caregiver or move your parents to an assisted living facility.
The important thing is to keep your parents in the loop. Try not to make decisions without them, as doing so can damage your relationship with them.
Make Sure they Can Reach You at Any Time
Last but not least, you should make sure that your parents can reach you at any point. You can do this by setting up their landline so that it’s close to them at all times, or by making sure that their cell phones are with them wherever they go. Additionally, make sure that you have your cellphone with you as well. If your parents’ vision is deteriorating, get them adequate phones. There’s a bunch of options on the market, all of which are aimed at complete ease of use.
Caring for elderly parents doesn’t only imply ensuring that they have everything they need. It also involves you being there for them. People who were highly independent generally have a hard time losing that independence due to old age. Do your best to help your parents transition and deal with the new realities of their everyday life.