Aging is a fact of life, and it affects all people and all families eventually. As adult children, it’s hard to see your parents get to the point where they need to be taken care of. Many adult children don’t realize the extent of the impact their parents getting older will have on their own lives. From being unable to cook, clean, and even take care of their own basic daily needs to things going wrong around the house, things can take a downward turn quickly.
If your aging parent is still healthy and energetic, it may not seem as if you have to worry about this for many years to come, but it’s best to prepare ahead of time. If the warnings signs are there, or if you’ve gotten to the point in your elderly parent’s life that you have to take over their care, then you have quite a few decisions to make. In this article, you’ll find some advice for taking care of your elderly parent’s health and their home as well.
Heath and Safety
Many elderly patients suffer from urinary incontinence. Not only can incontinence destroy their quality of life, but it can also be embarrassing for your mom to have her bladder be unable to hold urine when you’re out shopping or even at home with the family. Educating yourself on urinary incontinence, whether it’s because of an overactive bladder, stress incontinence, or overflow incontinence will help you support your elderly parent and make it easier on them.
If your parents are still able to drive by themselves, then you can check into having them added to your insurance, or do a search for the best car insurance on the market for seniors. There are sites out there that will help you compare rates and find the best car insurance company to suit your needs. If your elderly parent is having accidents, or you see dings and dents in their car that shouldn’t be there, it might be time to take the keys. Changes to look for in their driving are stiffening of their body when driving, a declining response time, and erratic driving. While it’s not easy to tell your own parents that they don’t need to be driving anymore, it’s safer for them and everyone else on the road if they don’t.
For many seniors, a loss of memory is common. Whether it’s from senility or something more serious, it can be heartbreaking for the entire family. It’s important to have patience with your family members and help them without pushing them to remember things. One way of doing this is to make your own photo book. Not only will the photo book help your elderly parent with their memories, but it’ll also give you and your family something to look back on and remember as well. It could be in the form of an autobiography as well. There are many digital life story templates available online, specifically designed for elderly parents.
A custom photo book is perfect for storing the memories that might become cloudy as your parents age. Don’t forget to let your elderly parent help add photos to the book as well. Whether it’s recording childbirth photos or memories at the beach and a great family Christmas, a photo book can go a long way towards helping your aging parent and your family as well. Get your photobook today.
If you’ve chosen to have your elderly parent age in place, then you’re going to need to equip their home in order for them to do so. You may need to hire out chores such as having the siding on their home replaced and roofing work that needs to be done. For siding, you can easily contact All Weather Seal siding for a free estimate. The company can handle all of your parent’s vinyl siding needs with repair and installation as well.
Another part of equipping your parent’s home so they can age in place includes modifications that might need to be made to keep them safe and sound. Home modifications such as grab bars in the bathrooms, outdoor ramps, replacing faucets, lighting, and flooring can keep your parents safe as they continue to age in place. Make sure that you make modifications to the kitchen as well, so your parents are safe when cooking and washing dishes.
Hire outside help.
Sometimes the distance is just too far for you to be able to take care of your parents as you would like to. In this case, it’s possible to hire outside help from trained professionals. Make sure that you vet any in-home help you hire completely by doing background checks and all. You can hire someone to come in on a daily basis, or there are agencies that have live-in helpers as well. They can help by being a companion to your aging parent, and they can help with tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and driving to doctor appointments. It’s extremely important as parents age that they have companionship and family surrounding them so that they don’t begin to feel lonely and unloved.
No matter how great the caretaker you hire to help with your aging parent is, you still need to try and visit often. The time you spend with your elders is important to them and something they’re looking forward to, whether they want to admit it or not. Take the time, whether it’s one day a week, on the weekends, and especially on holidays to be with the parents you love. You’ll appreciate the memories when they’re no longer with you.
As your parents get older, you may need to start keeping an eye on their medications for them. Many elderly people see different doctors for different conditions. It’s easy for them to get confused about which medicine is which and what medicine should be taken when. They can easily forget to take or accidentally double up on medicine that could hurt them. Make sure that you keep a good eye on their medicines, or make sure that the person you hire to help your parent is doing so instead. Overdosing on medicine is not a good way for your parents to be able to continue to age in place, so watch them carefully.
One of the hardest things you may have to do with your elderly parents is to talk about managing their finances. If your parents are going to be dependent on you, then it only makes sense to talk to them about how to go about paying their bills. The last thing you want is your parents feeling like you’re taking away their independence. Instead, sit down and have an open discussion about how the bills are going to be paid and who will pay them moving forward.
Never forget who the parent is.
Although you may be taking over everything from finances to car insurance and medication to overseeing bladder control problems, your parents are still your parents, and you should never forget it. Make sure to include them in discussions about things that are going to be done, and never forget that they took care of you your entire life. Now it’s time for you to return the favor.
This is just a little bit of advice to help you when it comes time for you to take care of the parents who raised you. Remember, patience and love are key.
Image Source: BigStockPhotos.com (licensed)
Related Categories: Family, Health, Reviews