Most people prefer to age in a place that they have always identified as their home. However, when a person faces health challenges, you should consider taking them to an assisted living facility. Typically, assisted living is the first phase in a senior’s long-term care approach.
You may also need to adopt respite care for your loved one. Although in-home care is an ideal method of saving resources as you keep your senior parent comfortable, living with elderly parents can overwhelm the caregiver and the immediate family members.
Shifting your elderly parent to your home may be an ideal option, but you should also consider the other options to ensure you make the best choice.
The following are some tips you should consider when caring for your older parents.
Access the Required Care
The first step of caring for an elderly parent is determining the care that they need. It would also help if you were cautious about taking too many responsibilities independently. Taking many responsibilities too early can overwhelm you since you may lose focus on the big picture or overlook your well-being.
Therefore, if you want to be effective in your care approach, you should create a list of monthly, weekly, and daily tasks to do. This is a strategic approach that’ll help you care for your parents’ needs. It can also help you to determine the care level required at night, during the day, or over the holidays and weekends.
If you want to gather a comprehensive list, observe your loved ones keenly, to note every time they require assistance with a specific task.
After studying the person for a week, you’ll have more information on the care scope required.
Be Realistic About What You Can Offer
Once you know what your elderly parent requires, you need to determine the assistance level you can handle without seeking additional help. If you find a task is beyond your capacity, either seek help or find alternative care.
Practical help entails what a person can offer without sacrificing their mental and physical well-being, responsibilities, or relationships. If you burden yourself with a lot of tasks, you may overwhelm yourself. Eventually, you may not have the ability to take care of yourself, let alone your parent.
Although looking after an elderly loved one has many challenges, many rewards accompany this commitment. So, just do your best and be confident that your beloved is content.
Seek Help Where It’s Needed
Aging is an inevitable phase in everyone’s life. Therefore, you should never feel ashamed to seek help where there is a necessity. If you know you cannot perform a particular task but wish to offer your loved one the best care, you should consider seeking help.
Although sourcing for professional help requires much effort and time, it’s an investment that pays off eventually. You can seek additional support like:
- Registering your parent in an adult day schedule that permits them to socialize as you rest
- Hiring a care provider to help them in their daily activities at home
- Looking for a senior volunteer friend who is ready and willing to take your elderly parent out on expeditions.
- Eliminating or minimizing errands by purchasing bulky supplies for home delivery
You should not feel ashamed to request a family member or a friend to run simple errands for you, prepare a meal, or assist you with minor housekeeping activities when the need arises.
Besides, if your elderly parents need professional help like addiction treatment, you can seek help from reputable sources like https://enterhealth.com/.
Share the Caregiving Responsibilities When Need Arises
Besides requesting help from your friends or family, you should also share the responsibility of taking care of your elderly parent. This offers you time to rest as you also focus on your personal life, especially your health. Although you may be doing a good job taking care of your elderly parent, nobody can realize that you need help if you do not request it.
For instance, you can request your relative, sibling, friend, or spouse to assume your caregiving tasks for a weekend or even a day. However, remember that sharing the responsibility varies based on the situation.
Therefore, you should try to be flexible and creative in your approach to sharing responsibility.
Prepare Healthy Meals or Opt for Ready-Made Meals
Seniors require additional nutritional requirements to maintain their physical and mental well-being since they are more susceptible to diseases. Seniors are also prone to malnutrition due to depression, lack of appetite, and other factors.
Although buying food and preparing meals from scratch may be overwhelming, you should consider tasty, affordable, and straightforward meal services in your location.
Therefore, consider stocking your kitchen with ready-made food to prevent your elderly parent from skipping meals. This helps in achieving their nutritional requirements daily.
Providing nutritious and healthy meals helps boost seniors’ comfort, as the ready-made foods lessen the burden of preparing the meals from scratch.
Look for the Financial Support You Require
Caring for elderly parents requires you to have extra financial support. This can eventually create a significant financial burden for you. Therefore, you should find the financial help you need to take care of your elderly parent before the burden becomes unbearable.
For instance, you should consider looking for private and government benefit programs that handle the matters relating to the support of elderly parents. If your parent has a pension plan, you should talk with them and the family to use the funds to facilitate their care.
Besides, you can get creative and find cost-effective, caring means or consult a lawyer about how they can qualify for Medicaid.
Make Modifications in Their Home
Seniors are more prone to falls, accidents, or injuries. Therefore, you should ensure that their surrounding environment and their home are safe and secure. You can modify their home to suit their conditions.
Some of these modifications may be complex, while others simple fixes. Whatever the case, the changes include:
- Installing a slope for walkers or wheelchairs
- Mounting grab bars and handrails at the shower and toilet
- Installing an elevated toilet
- Installing carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and ensuring that they are in sound condition
- Inspecting the general lighting system in the home and ensuring that they are bright enough
- Installing auto-sensor nightlights around the house to check if they wake up during the night
- Ensuring that there are non-skid strips or mats in the bathtub or shower or any other potential slippery locations in the house
- Getting rid of extra clutter or furniture that may hinder their movement
- Ensuring that cords, cables, and wires are out of sight to avoid potential falls
- Getting rid of small rugs
Keep Them Active
Physical activities and regular exercises are essential for a person’s physical and mental well-being. Therefore, you should ensure that your elderly parents are active and engaged.
Unfortunately, it is common for seniors to become lonely and isolated. This may lead to depression, especially if they lose someone they care about, like a child, spouse, or a close friend.
Therefore, seniors should remain involved with their friends and family. You can also encourage them to make new friends as they venture into new activities.
Since various avenues may provide seniors leisure opportunities, you should take your elderly parent to such destinations once in a while. (Consider taking your elderly parent to recreational destinations like bingo games and spas.)
Besides, simple activities such as jogging, walking, and moderate exercises can significantly improve their health.
Check Their Prescriptions
If your elderly parent takes several medications, you should consider purchasing a pillbox organizer with partitions labeled with the days and the doses’ timelines. This may assist them in simplifying their medication process.
Take Care of Yourself
Other than your elderly parent’s health, your health also matters. If you want to take good care of your parent, you should also take care of yourself. People who look after their parents may suffer from depression, stress, anxiety, or musculoskeletal conditions due to the challenges associated with this responsibility.
Consequently, you can lessen the burden of taking care of your parent by dividing the responsibility among you, your partner, and other family members. Taking regular breaks will allow you to focus on your health and general life.
Seniors require special care since they are more prone to health and environmental hazards. However, taking care of elderly parents requires high commitment levels since a person has to bear various responsibilities. It would help if you didn’t tire of looking after your elderly parent since old age is an inevitable phase of life. Besides, you can always seek help from various institutions and facilities when need be.