In the American population, one in every eight people is considered elderly. That means one in every eight people needs at least a little extra help in taking care of themselves. And some need much more help than others.
If you’re caring for aging parents, you know that it can be a challenge. You want to give your loved ones the best care that you can give, and the help that they deserve. Just being there for them is great, but there are other things you’ll have to care for as well.
7 Tips on Caring for Aging Parents at Home
There are about 40 million caregivers that are unpaid taking care of people 65 years or older in the United States. Many of those people are caring for aging parents.
Keep the Mobility Simple
When you have an aging parent, it’s important to set their home up so that they’re as safe as possible. The more open spaces they don’t have to awkwardly walk in and out of, the better.
Don’t obstruct plugs with furniture so that an older person has to bend and reach to get to the outlet. Having furniture around corners can be asking an older adult to bump right into it or cause a fall.
Move these items around so the mobility of the area is as simple as possible. If you have nowhere to put the furniture, you can temporarily put it in a storage unit.
Let them Age in Place
Have a look around at common areas of your home that become difficult to navigate when you’re older. That means specifically the stairs and the bathroom.
Adding extra rails to the stairs helps you and your aging loved one to use them much more easily. Stairs are one of the more dangerous parts of the home, so they should always be used with caution.
Showers may need to be redone to include a walk-in function if it’s difficult for your senior to walk over the step of a tub. Shower rails also help give your aging loved one a place to grab onto in case of a minor slip.
A good mattress is also something to consider for the aging person in your life. Getting an organic mattress can be a good solution for your aging parents if they have a sensitivity to chemicals or trouble sleeping.
Taking on such a big responsibility of caring for your aging parents can be a stress on your own health. Take time to think about if you can really take on this duty and be able to do it well.
List all the things the elderly person will need before you decide. If the overview that you create sounds intimidating, then it’s likely that in practice you’ll find yourself falling short due to time constraints or fears.
At the same time, we all know that there likely isn’t going to be a miracle drug that can reverse aging or solve terminal issues, however, there are plenty of nonprescription and OTC drugs that can help with pain and sleeping. Be sure to review such opportunities out there, as these will be less invasive and expensive in comparison to medical treatment.
Get in a routine. This will help you and the person you’re caring for to know what to expect and establish a plan for you to follow.
Keep Conversation Going
Seniors can sometimes feel embarrassed about the things that you have to help them with that they were once able to do. If you have to assist them with going to the bathroom or showering, remember that this is an everyday task that everyone has to do.
It can be discouraging to need help with such tasks. Keeping up a friendly conversation can help make the time go more quickly and help them keep their minds off the fact that they need help.
Try to create as peaceful of an environment as possible. Put on their favorite music, or white noise if they’re feeling stressed.
Keep up a Lifestyle
Whatever level they’re at, keeping your aging parent active is an important factor in both their physical and mental health. They can go to a gym class, swim, or work on strength and flexibility in whichever way is most effective for where their fitness level and capabilities are.
Many diseases that occur later in life happen because of a poor diet. Incorporating plenty of fresh foods into a healthy diet that your loved one also enjoys can help make this process as smooth as possible.
Heart disease, blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis, and others all are controlled or prevented by eating well. Combining eating well with physical activity is the thing that’s going to fight off these diseases the most effectively.
Physical activity also will help your loved one sleep better, maintain a healthy weight, and reduce stress. These are all things you’re going to want to keep on top of when you’re looking after someone who is aging.
Get a Senior Care Service
Senior care services are there for you when you can’t do everything on your own. Families Choice Home Care offers you everything from dusting, vacuuming, making breakfast, having conversations to keep your loved one company, changing the linen, and so much more.
If your aging loved one needs medication reminders, assistance with bathing, dressing, grooming, or anything else. You can learn about the services when you check out their website.
If you need help, you need help. Tell a family member that you need help caring for your elderly person in your life. By doling out the tasks, everyone can help lighten the load.
Being flexible is going to be the most key in this. Everyone’s schedule is always changing, and communication can make everyone’s life easier.
Care for Yourself
Everyone knows that to care for others, you must take care of yourself first. Practice your own health, and then you can work on caring for aging parents.
Caring for your parent or your parents when they’re less able to than they were before can seem like a full-time job. To keep everyone as healthy and happy as possible, you need to be in the best shape you can be. Then you can learn that carrying for others can be a rewarding and life-giving experience.