Seeing your parents age and struggle with tasks is a difficult thing. Whether you are a caregiver or need some extra support, there are ways to make this an easier time for everyone. It is good to have a system in place for caring for your parents, from a home space that is safe, to a support network that gives them the well-rounded care that they need.
Here are some tips for caring for your aging parents:
Make sure that your parent’s home does not have any safety hazards. Keep areas clean of clutter and other things that could result in a fall. Reduce the need for step stools or ladders. Add railings and grab bars as needed. Make sure that things are working smoothly around the house, such as appliances.
Home health care services
While you may be prepared to provide home care for your parents, it is a good idea to consider home health services. There are many reasons not to be a sole caregiver, from time constraints to assisting in things like administering medications.
It is important to have proper health care, from precise monitoring of vitals to post-surgical care. You want your parents to have the best care possible, and a home health care professional will provide that care. A home health care service can be daily, less often, or short term (e.g. following surgery).
If your parent cannot live independently, assisted living is a great option. While you may want to be a caregiver for your parent, you may not be able to provide constant on-call support. Assisted living will provide around the clock assistance that you may not be able to do.
As we age, it is important to stay social and also exercise our minds. Keep your parents engaged in social activities, making sure they get out of the house and get social interactions.
Consider your needs
While you may be happy to take care of your aging parents, caregiver burnout is common. If you are a sole caregiver, be realistic when it comes to the possibility that you will likely need additional support, whether you become sick, want to travel, and so on. Having a broad support system is always a good idea.
Discuss your plans with your parents, and include them in the decision making process. Also make sure that your parents have a good way to communicate, from daily check-ins to a cell phone that offers location tracking. Some caregivers find that having their parents use a wearable emergency device offers peace of mind in the event of a fall or other emergency.