How to Take Care of Your Parents in Their Old Age

While caring for your parents in their old age, knowing your options helps choose the best solution to fit both yours and your parents' needs

Daughter with old mother
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels

As our parents age, the responsibility of ensuring their health and safety often falls on our shoulders. This challenging task can be filled with uncertainties about how best to approach the situation. Identifying their needs, exploring available options, and making informed decisions can seem overwhelming. Focusing on manageable steps can turn this seemingly insurmountable task into a controlled process. Follow these steps to create a realistic strategy that prioritizes your mom’s or dad’s happiness and health.

Involve Your Parent in the Process

Maintaining autonomy is a significant concern for those who fear the loss of independence, especially during old age. In planning for your parent’s care, it’s crucial to actively engage them in the process. This approach fosters a sense of partnership rather than instilling a feeling that you’re imposing changes upon them.

There may be initial resistance, so patience is key. Multiple discussions might be necessary to ease them into this new phase. Unless there’s an immediate risk, avoid imposing changes abruptly. It could be more beneficial, to begin with minimal, less invasive measures and gradually escalate the level of assistance as needed.

In non-emergency situations, help your parents acclimate to receiving aid by initially concentrating on one or two urgent needs. Once they become comfortable with this level of support, you can gradually introduce additional help until they receive the full care they need. Remember, the goal is to ensure their wellbeing while respecting their desire for independence.

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Make Regular Visits

As our parents grow older, discerning when they might need extra support can be complex, particularly when we’re engrossed in our personal obligations. We often arrange to see them and engage in activities, but due to the unpredictability of life, these visits may sometimes be pushed back or rescheduled.

Nevertheless, when caring for an aging parent, devoting quality time to them becomes significantly more crucial. This is key to identifying any challenges they may face in managing their care and day-to-day tasks.

To tackle this, consider setting up regular visits tailored to your geographical location and the care they require. If you reside in the same city, strive to meet them several times a month and make it an integral part of their routine. For convenience, try to organize these meetings on the same day each week. This not only helps all parties to remember, but also minimizes the chances of needing to reschedule.

Enlist Help Early On

Caring for aging parents is a substantial obligation that can become increasingly challenging as their needs expand. It’s crucial to avoid waiting until a crisis occurs to figure out what kind of help they need, how often they need it, and who is best suited.

As a crucial part of planning, you should involve all immediate family members early on. This could mean having family members take turns providing respite care at scheduled times throughout the year or contributing to a fund that supports hiring professional in-home caregivers when required. It could also include hiring someone to maintain the cleanliness of the home.

The key is to approach care-giving as a collective effort. The burden can be overwhelming if you attempt to shoulder it alone. Remember, senior living facilities like Riverview Retirement Community are there to offer the best care, making this journey less stressful for everyone involved.

Make the Home Secure and Accessible

In the process of caring for your aging parents, a key aspect to focus on is ensuring their home environment is both safe and easy to navigate. Falls and injuries pose a significant risk to seniors living at home, making their safety a high-priority concern.

While making some structural changes to their living space may be necessary, most steps towards creating a secure and accessible home for seniors can be accomplished with limited DIY expertise and a couple of helping hands. The aim is to create a comfortable and safe space where they can live independently with minimal risks.

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Taking care of your parents in their old age can be daunting, but with careful planning and attention to detail, it’s possible. While there is no universal solution for how best to care for older parents, understanding what is available and researching the options can help you find the best solutions to fit both yours and your parents’ needs.

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