Watching your parents age can be one of the most difficult things in life. But unfortunately, it’s inevitable and it’s best to be as prepared as possible. Caring for your aging parent can involve a lot of different tasks, from helping them with daily activities to taking them to doctor appointments. But no matter what your tasks are, here are a few tips to keep in mind as you start to plan care for your elderly parents.
Make Sure Their Living Arrangements Are Safe
One of the first steps you should take as your parents age is to make sure that their living arrangements are safe. Many senior citizens want to stay in their own home and this is certainly a possibility. But because senior citizens are prone to falling and other accidents, it’s crucial to make sure their home is safe and has a low risk of accidents. If your parents are in a physical and mental condition to continue living in their own home, take steps to make it safer for them—install ramps instead of stairs, have handrails put in the bathroom, add additional lighting, rearrange furniture, and even invest in some easy-to-use smart devices.
Taking these actions will help make their home a safer environment. If your parents are no longer able to live on their own, you can consider moving them in with you or setting them up in some sort of independent living community or nursing home. Ultimately, you want to make sure wherever your parents are living is safe and that they’re comfortable.
Consider Hiring Professional Caregivers
It’s important to know how much you can help and when your knowledge and experience won’t be enough. While the thought of having a stranger care for your parents can be scary, it can sometimes be the best option. If you work a full-time job and don’t have the necessary time to care for your parents, then hiring a professional caregiver may be the right next step to take. There are caregivers to help with a variety of needs, whether it’s someone to help with things like cooking and cleaning or bathing and dressing, you can find a caregiver who can give the time and energy your parents need.
Especially for someone who is going through the Alzheimer stages, it can be extremely beneficial for them to have a regular caregiver in their life. Alzheimer’s can be a scary and debilitating illness and while treatment has come a long way in the past few years, those who suffer from this disease need extra care. Having a caregiver to help them with daily tasks and mental-stimulating activities may help with managing the illness.
Find Them The Right Medical Help
Everybody should be going to a variety of doctors on a regular basis but as people age, they may need to seek more medical help than before. Elderly people may need to start going to physical therapy to help with mobility, a dietician to ensure they’re getting the right nutrition, and even a geriatrician. Another common doctor senior citizens may need to see is an audiologist. Hearing tends to worsen as people get older and it’s important to tackle hearing loss early on.
While many people are hesitant to seek the help of an audiologist, whether it’s from fear or denial of hearing loss, it’s an important step to take. Hearing well is important, from being able to hear the television to be able to hold a conversation, and seeing an audiologist can help provide the right hearing assistance. Seniors may become forgetful regarding making doctor appointments and it’s important to remind them or even help them make appointments. Additionally, it’s important to make sure whatever doctor they’re seeing is respectful and makes your parents feel comfortable.
Caring for elderly parents can be challenging and frustrating, but it’s important to give your parents the care they need. So keep this information in mind to ensure you’re making the right moves for both you and your parents.