Caring for an aging parent or family member is a responsibility that will take both a physical and emotional toll on you. The role change in the parent/child relationship can often make the process of tending to the needs of your parents a bit more difficult to manage. As they long to remain independent and do things for themselves, you essentially realize their aging and need to do what is in their best interest. Whether you’ve decided to move them into your home or assist them as they live in their own house, here are some suggestions to try to make caring for mom and dad a lot easier.
Medical Alert Necklaces
It only takes a second for something to happen. A slip and fall, ache, or pain could require immediate medical assistance. If mobility is an issue for your aging parent, investing in medical alert devices could be the way to go. Worn around the neck, these devices are easily designed to make calling help a lot easier. A click of the button and they’ll be connected to personnel who will call the correct authorities. This can minimize the stress of leaving an aging parent at home for too long by themselves.
If your aging parent has mobility issues getting around the house can be tricky, especially when there are multiple levels. Stair lifts are designed to help handicapped, disabled, or individuals with issues getting around to get up and down the stairs. With your loved one careful strapped into the seat, they can get up and down the stairs with the press of a button. Stair lifts come in various sizes, so you’ll want to check sites like https://www.easyclimber.com/how-to-choose-a-stair-lift/ to see which is the better option for you.
Those caring for elderly parents who are suffering from early onset Alzheimer’s or just memory issues may want to keep closer tabs on where their parents are, should they decide to wander off. Fortunately, you don’t have to place a tracking chip in them to know where they are, simply download an app to their cell phones. This way, if they go missing and they’ve taken their phones with them, you’ll know exactly where to locate them.
Often the best place to turn for help with caring for the elderly is the very community they live in. Many communities have senior services and programs that you can take advantage of. For instance, meals on wheels would deliver meals to your parent’s home. Certain shuttles and transportation services will transport seniors to shopping centers, trips, and even doctor’s appointments. Many of the programs are income-based or free to senior citizens so be sure to check with your local city or state health and human services department.
Medication is a common staple for many aging adults. Trying to remember which medications to take when is hard enough when you’re young and have your wits about you, so imagine how troubling it can be as you age. To try and keep the stress to a minimum and encourage your parent’s independence a bit, you can invest in a pill divider. Separating the pills by the day of the week and time of day will ensure they get the dosage they need daily. Another tip for medication might include having regular prescriptions mail-ordered so that you don’t have to make as many trips to the pharmacy.
Adult Day Care/Social Clubs
Seniors need to socialize as much as possible. It can be rather depressing to age and see your friends and family passing away. Talking with others who have some of the same experiences can help to prolong their life. Check around your neighborhood to see if there are any adult day care centers or senior social clubs you could sign your parents up for. They could go for a few hours a day to engage with other seniors, play games, and more. Not only does this give them something to do, but it gives you a little break as well.
Caring for your aging parents or family members can be a lot of work. It requires a great deal of understanding, time, energy, and money, and can take an emotional and physical toll on everyone. To try and make the process a bit smoother, consider some of the steps above to help encourage independence and ease the responsibilities of caring for the elderly both in and outside of the home. If you’re still struggling, getting help from others and even seeking counseling is advised.