Realizing your parents need a little more help than they used can be a difficult process. Although it’s to be expected, it always comes as a shock when you realize your parents aren’t infallible. Furthermore, finding the right way to provide practical and emotional support can be difficult.
Although some seniors are happy to accept assistance, others aren’t. If your parent is reluctant to acknowledge their need for help, it can be tricky to overcome their protestations. However, there are ways to ensure your parents have the support they need in their advancing years.
If you want to ensure you’re offering the right assistance, take a look at these top tips for what to do when elderly parents need your help…
Understand their needs
Take a comprehensive view of your parent’s needs and determine whether they’re being met. From meal preparation and social isolation to mobility and medical treatment; are they enjoying their quality of life?
If the answer is no, then it’s time to take action. Once you have identified your parent’s individual needs, it’s easier to formulate a plan and have the right support in place.
A large number of older adults (ages 65 and up) lose their ability to control their bladder and bowel. You need to know whether your parents have this condition.
Incontinence can take a toll on your aging parents, especially if they have limited mobility. In this case, they will need to use incontinence protected pads or garments at all times.
You’ll also need to do the aftercare if an accident occurs. If you’re unable to look after your parents because of work or other commitments, add caregiving into your parents’ list of needs.
Consider your own lifestyle
Although you may be eager to provide support to your elderly parents, look at what’s realistic. If you work full-time and have young children to care for, you may not be around to offer practical support as and when it’s needed.
By acknowledging your own needs, you can ensure that alternative help is on hand. Some people struggle with feelings of guilt when they’re unable to provide care for a parent, but this isn’t deserved. By taking a pro-active approach and accepting your own limitations, you can ensure your parents get the help they need and deserve.
Even if you can’t take care of your parents full time, there are still many ways you can help them. Encouraging your parents to lead an active lifestyle by accompanying them to exercise and go on walks are two things that are something you can easily do if you live nearby.
You can also help them lead healthier lives by knowing about their medical conditions. Make time to accompany them for their regular checkup, and stay in touch with their health-care provider. You can proactively ask their doctor about what you can do to help maintain your parents’ health.
For example, if your elderly parents suffer from chronic pains due to aging, talk to their doctor about alternative options to manage the pain. Their doctor can prescribe compression socks to reduce leg pain, swelling, and fatigue or recommend physical therapy for leg and foot conditions. You may not be able to take care of your parents 24/7 because you have your own life to manage, but you can still be there for them in different ways.
Find the right support
There are plenty of options available when it comes to finding support for seniors. From live-in nursing homes and residential communities to help with shopping and transport; you can tap into a range of services.
Of course, you’ll want to vet the companies and agencies you choose to hire. Rosenfeld nursing home abuse lawyers often work with families who are disappointed with the level of care their loved one has received. By researching the firms who will be offering support to your parents, you can ensure that they receive a consistently good level of care.
Make a financial plan
Accessing support for seniors can be costly, so it’s good to have a financial plan in place. If your parent owns their home, they may be keen to sell it and alleviate the burden of maintaining it, for example. Alternatively, they may have insurance policies or savings in place to cover the cost of additional support.
Supporting Aging Parents
When you’re planning how to support elderly parents, try to involve them in the process as much as possible. They will have their own ideas about what type of care they would like, so try to honor their wishes as much as possible. By taking a joint approach, you can create a support plan they’re happy to engage with and give them the practical and emotional assistance they require