Caring for Aging Parents: Tips and Expert Advice

Caring for Aging Parents: Tips and Expert Advice

Knowing that your parents are turning old can cause emotional turmoil to anyone. But it is crucial to keep your parents’ perspective in mind and step up as a caretaker when they need you the most. Especially if your parents have health and safety concerns that prevent them from being completely independent, you’ll need to take certain steps and handle the situation.

When put in this decision-making position, deciding what steps you need to take and what options you should consider can get overwhelming. In such a situation, focusing on concrete facts can help you become more confident in your decisions and help you take control of any emerging situation.

For this reason, let’s discuss the following tips and advice that can help you provide care for your aging parents.

1.  Get the help you need

In many cases acquiring help from a third party to take care of aging parents is considered appalling. However, if you’re the sole income source of your family, and need to maintain a balance between your personal life and providing care, then compromising on all the factors to uphold your image makes no sense. In such a case, acquire help from a third party, whether a private caregiver or a nursing home. The focus should be on acquiring the best services you can arrange so that your elderly parents are well taken care of at all times.

Nonetheless, the problem lies in hiring help or putting your aging parents in a nursing home and being done with it, especially when nursing home abuse is a harsh reality. To gain awareness of nursing home abuse, visit nursinghomeabuse.org to learn more about how to identify it and what legal steps you can take.

2.  Help them stay active and independent

The first thought you may have after you learn that your aging parents need help may be to take over all control and put them on bed rest. However, aging adults have a stubborn need to remain as independent as possible. They don’t want to feel like they’re a burden to anyone. Putting them on bed rest forcefully and taking over all the work can trigger stress.

Therefore, your role as a caretaker should be to provide them with the necessary tools to maintain independence as long as possible. For example, if they are no longer capable of driving, help them find an alternative transportation source such as a local bus, subway, or a volunteer transportation service they can use to go to and fro in town.

3.  Include your parents in family activities

Aside from caring for their health, you must also care for their mental health and make their happiness a priority. The reason is that with age, your parents may start feeling lonely or isolated because of their limitations and age.

So, include them in as many family activities as possible. Don’t limit the family gatherings to thanksgiving, birthdays, and special occasions only. Plan regular dinners and invite your parents or bring them along next time you go to the children’s game. Inviting and including them in such activities will help them stay more socially active and boost their mental health.

4.  Be a listener not a dictator

Unfortunately, gradually losing independence can cause great difficulty and frustration for your parents. It’s not easy for them to lose independence and control over most aspects of their routine life. Therefore, while the process is never easy, you can make it smoother and easier to handle by asking your parents whether they need your help before getting involved.

Remember that you wouldn’t like it if someone started making all the decisions for you and imposed them with strictness. The best way to go about this difficult process is to ask for your parent’s opinions and preferences before deciding on their care.

5.  Keep them in the loop

If you have fully taken up the responsibility of being the family caregiver, then it means that you have to be more aware of your parent’s overall needs. Because you can only provide effective care for them if you are aware of what needs and challenges they are facing.

Consider their health, medical appointments, consultations, etc., and arrange means to fulfill these requirements. Moreover, keep them in the loop and communicate with them about their health and any family updates you may have to make them more aware of the situation. It will help them make better decisions regarding their health and other aspects of life.

More importantly, it would get easier to swap caregivers whenever another sibling, family member, or healthcare professional has to take over.

Conclusion

Taking care of aging parents can be taxing since it is physically and emotionally demanding. It can also be extremely difficult if you have your own family and personal affairs to manage. Being a primary caregiver to aging parents is never easy. For this reason, we suggest you follow the above tips and advice to relieve as much stress as possible. It will help you make rational decisions for your parents and yourself and ensure that both parties remain happy for the longest time. It will also ensure that your parents do not become victims to the clutches of depression upon losing control of their own life. But in the end, remember that there’s no shame or reason to feel guilty in acquiring help to provide better care for your elderly parents.