Aging has its own set of challenges. You may notice that your loved one’s health has declined or they seem more fragile than ever. Senior care is a stressful and tough job, and it requires patience, time, and commitment. If you are a son or daughter responsible for the care of an elderly parent, it is crucial to figure out their needs and understand their options when making decisions about their health and living situation. Here are a few tips to help you learn the basics of caring for your aging parents at home.
Assess Your Parent’s Needs
Understand how much help your parent needs with activities of daily living (ADL). Some of the basic ADL activities include dressing, self-feeding, bathing, mobility, and personal hygiene. If it is impossible for them to take care of these activities independently, find appropriate help. You can either provide professional care or buy accessories that help them do their tasks independently.
Similarly, make sure the instrumental activities of daily living such as cooking, cleaning, shopping, running errands, going to doctor’s appointments, and taking prescribed medications are taken care of effectively. If you’re busy with a hectic schedule, hire home health care assistants for personal care tasks. These non-medical aides provide caring companionship and help with light household chores.
Stay in Frequent Communication
Isolation and loneliness in older people could lead to a wide range of physical and mental illnesses, including high blood pressure, obesity, cognitive decline, anxiety, and depression. It is vital to protect your parents from these risks of loneliness. Allot time in your busy schedule to call your parents frequently to check-in. You don’t have to wait for any special reason.
Keeping in touch can greatly increase the health of your parents. Do not offer advice unless asked. Instead, listen to what they are saying and accept differences of opinions. A shared laugh can be the best medicine to ease out the tension. Sometimes as parents age there is a parent-child role reversal which can be difficult for everyone to accept. Being understanding and patient are the best ways to deal with difficult times.
Encourage Regular Physical Activity
Staying active can help your parents live a longer life. Regular exercises can keep chronic illnesses at bay. Encourage your loved ones to spend time outside every day to breathe fresh air or involve them in activities like gardening. Encourage them to stretch their muscles and lift light weights depending on their age and health. Talking walks with an aging loved one is a great way to encourage activity and spend quality time together. You can also hire our in-home physical therapy experts for strength, balance, and flexibility training programs.
Keep Them Connected
Help your parents stay connected with friends, family, and the community. Check out community resources for helping them make friends. Take them to community festivals, theaters, concerts, comedy events, and other social events that can be enjoyed with the company. Get them involved in a hobby or encourage your parents to attend parties and volunteer in charity organizations. Help them learn the basics of video calls and other social media to stay connected with the outside world.
It is often difficult when the child has to become the caretaker of an elderly parent. Chronic health issues may arise and loneliness is a large problem with senior citizens. These tips can help to keep your parents happy and healthy. And remember, it is okay to reach out for help from professionals.