Taking care of your elderly parents comes with a few complex concerns. For example, their long-term care plan needs to be designed in a way that makes them most comfortable despite their age or health status. However, knowing your courses of action ahead of time can prevent you from becoming overwhelmed by the different responsibilities. Here are a few ways you can properly take care of your elderly parents.
Identify the Amount of Care Necessary
Consult with your family doctor and identify how much care your parents require. Start simple and divide their needs into categories depending on whether they should be addressed daily, weekly, or monthly. Aim to break down more comprehensive routines into the different times of the day. Write down these details in a calendar, notepad, or to-do list that both you and your parents can view anytime.
Avoid Neglecting Yourself
Caregiving for others can often consume a majority of your time. However, it’s important that you prioritize following a self-care routine before becoming overwhelmed with your duties and responsibilities to others. This way, you actively stay fit and ready to provide support instead of being sickly yourself. Make sure you stay active, drink enough water, eat nourishing meals, exercise regularly, and get quality sleep.
If you don’t live with your elderly parents, make sure you schedule in time to visit them. Suppose you have children who need to be vaccinated by healthcare providers like Almouie Pediatrics. In that case, consider taking your parents with you when you go. They look forward to spending time with you and their grandchildren. This makes them feel loved and uplifts their mood.
You can also use this as an opportunity to check whether certain areas around the house have issues. This can be anything from unwatered plants or piles of mail.
Divide the Responsibilities
Taking breaks is a necessity and should not be seen as a luxury. Ask for support from your siblings and relatives. This may be in the form of going away for a weekend while they take over or simply splitting the daily activities amongst yourselves. Giving yourself time and space to rest and recuperate will allow you to avoid burnout altogether.
Hire Additional Assistance
In some cases, you and your direct support system may still be unable to provide all the care your parents require. One of the best ways to remedy this is to source additional help. Identify routine activities you can delegate to a third party and schedule them in.
A few common examples include chores around the house, running other errands, or enrolling them in an adult day program. This way, the time you save can be allocated for rest or spending quality time together.
Modify the Home
Adapt your parents’ living spaces to accommodate their current needs and capabilities. This allows them to stay active and maintain their independence as much as possible. For instance, adding grab bars to bathrooms and reducing the amount of furniture can greatly aid their mobility. Likewise, bed rails provide them with extra support whenever they get in and out of bed.
Provide Healthy Meals
Seniors require all the nutrition they can get to fight disease. Most times, the lack of ability to prepare their own food can also lead to malnutrition. Shop and meal prep for them as much as possible. Alternatively, you can also stock up on healthy ready-made meals to prevent them from skipping any when you’re faced with a time crunch.
Manage Your Finances
Caring for your elderly parents requires financial stability and support. The costs of living, along with their medical expenses, may accumulate over time. Prepare yourself in advance and look into private and government programs that can shoulder a part of the total expenses. You should also double-check whether your parents qualify for Medicaid and receive funds from a pension.
Physical activity is essential for all stages of life. While certain exercises are heavily discouraged for the elderly, they should still partake in lighter forms of movement. Motivate them to take more walks or sign them up for a sports club for some golf. They even get the added benefits of spending some time outdoors.
Care for Your Elderly Parents Properly
Your parents deserve and require enough care to continue living their life as peacefully as possible. Accepting the responsibility to provide them with the support they need is no easy feat. Remind yourself of your inner strength and compassion, and remember that this is a form of showing them gratitude and love.