When you are little, your parents are the ones that take care of you and help you to grow into an adult. They are there to help you through all the problems that you have as children and young people and then when you are ready for a family of your own, they are there to help with the grandchildren. However, as your parents get older, they are the ones that will rely on you for help. Here are some tips for taking care of your parents as they get older.
Going to Visit
For some families, going to visit their parents is a big deal, especially if they live far away. While this is fine when they are fit and well, this can become a problem if they fall ill. As their son or daughter, you want to be there to help them and take care of them, but the distance can be a barrier. One way to solve this is to think about moving closer to them or having them live closer to you. While this may take a while to organize, it can solve the long-term problems of visiting them. Some parents might be reluctant to give up their home to move away, especially if they have lived there for many years, but it can be the only way that you can give them the help they need.
Finding Suitable Accommodation
If your parents are happy to move closer to you, then you will need to think about accommodation that will be best for them. The type of property you find them will largely depend on their health and mobility. If they are relatively mobile and they can still get around, then something such as condo or apartment might be perfect for them. However, if they are not mobile at all, then they might need more personalized care. It can be especially relevant if they are on their own, such as if one of your parents have died. Living alone and not being in the best of health may be too difficult for them. There may even be the talk of them going into a nursing home near to where you live. These decisions are never taken easily, and you all need to talk it through together before making a final decision. Of course, there is also the option of having your parents move in with you. If you have room in your home, then this can be a good option, but you will need to make sure that your whole family is happy with the situation. It might be that you need some assistance, so there are home care services that you can arrange to help you. The advantage of this service is that they can carry out some of the tasks of a more sensitive nature that you might not feel comfortable doing.
Understand Their Quirks
You may not know if you haven’t lived with them for a while, but your parents probably have a few little quirks that you might not realize. These are little things that they have probably been doing since they were children, but as kids yourself, you probably didn’t notice. It is sometimes these little quirks that can prove difficult to deal with, but it is important that you try to understand their ways. They may have suffered from a trauma or dangerous event that has left them with mood swings or depression. These problems are something you will need to help them to deal with. Talk with them and try to understand why they feel this way, it will help to give you a better understanding of their life.
Understand Their Health Needs
Your parents may have had some ailments for some time, but you might not have realized until now. As children, you probably don’t notice if they took medicines or if they went to the doctors. It is important that you try to discover what ailments they have so you can get them help or ensure that they make their appointments when needed. If your parents are frail, they will rely on you to remember these things for them, so it is worth considering a planner or something on your phone that you can keep their appointments in. If you are not getting any medical help coming in to see your parents, then you may have to oversee their medications as well. If you think that they might not be able to remember the times of their medicines, then you will need some way of reminding them. There are now medicine pots that are separated into days and times of day, so they can see when their next dose is due.
Whether you have found a property near to you, or you have decided that they are moving in with you, there may still be things that you need to change. Depending on how mobile they are, you will know what accessories they need. You may even be able to get someone to come over and assess the property to see what adaptations they require. Keeping to one floor is a good idea as it negates them having to negotiate the stairs, especially if they are alone. Another good idea is to have a walk-in bathroom or wet room fitted. It will help them to wash without having to step into a bath or shower stall. If their mobility is limited, then there are other adaptations you can add, such as an adjustable bed and a motorized wheelchair. Both of these will give them some sense of independence while ensuring that they are still safe. You will also need to consider adaptations outside the property such as ramps, handrails, and pathways that are safe to walk along.
No one likes to see their parents getting older and frailer, but there are many things that you can do to make their old age more comfortable and enjoyable. They will also benefit from having their family near to them.