Mom and Dad may start showing signs of slowing down and needing extra help. As an adult child, lending a hand may seem daunting. After all, knowing what aging parents need on a daily basis can be perplexing, especially if the grown children do not live nearby.
A compassionate and involved approach is to have a discussion with one’s elderly parents about their wishes and requirements should their needs progress from infrequent to daily down the road. This conversation is ideally had before aging parents require immediate assistance or home care.
All too often, elderly parents outrightly refuse their grown children’s offers of help. Be aware they might change their minds later. Until then, a doctor, siblings or other relatives may intervene, prompting a change in the parents’ outlook and encouraging them to be open to receiving help.
Tip 1: Understand Medical Needs
Managing the health of elderly parents involves an assessment of their ongoing needs. Medical needs increase as people grow older and chronic ailments plague their daily lives. Keep track of prescription medicines, doctor’s appointments and therapy sessions to stay on top of the health of parents.
Accompany Mom or Dad to their physicians’ appointments to better understand and manage health conditions. Prescription medications may be taken on schedule with the aid of reminders, like alarm pill boxes or apps. Professional caregivers also provide timely medication reminders.
Tip 2: Encourage Social Support Systems
A second area of concern is family support. If parents live alone, they may be subject to isolation. Supportive relatives who check in on Mom and Dad regularly are instrumental in warding off the physical and emotional dangers associated with senior isolation.
Introduce parents to technology if they have not experienced the wonders of it yet. Video chats and social media help seniors stay connected with family and friends. Voice-controlled devices deliver the daily news, weather and sports. Companion caregivers also provide pleasant companionship.
Tip 3: Assess ADLs
Personal hygiene activities become difficult for aging people, due to cognitive decline or physical impairments, like arthritis. Assess how well Mom and Dad engage in the activities of daily living (ADLs), such as getting to the toilet, bathing, grooming and dressing.
Bathing and dressing aging parents may be uncomfortable for adult children, while potentially being humiliating for the seniors. A solution is the services of a caregiver. A part of the daily tasks of professional caregivers is to provide seniors with discreet help with personal care activities.
Tip 4: Provide Ample Nutrition
Cooking for two is especially challenging when faced with mobility issues and growing frailty. Make note of how often Mom or Dad cooks and be ready to fix meals to be frozen and consumed later, hire a caregiver to prepare nutritious dishes or schedule and pay for meal delivery services.
Eating balanced meals is crucial for aging people to stay physically healthy and mentally alert. Foods rich in vitamins (fruits and vegetables), lean proteins (seafood and eggs) and whole grains are important for aging bodies. Senior health requires sufficient hydration, with water, tea or coffee as best choices.
Tip 5: Modify the Home
As Mom and Dad grow physically weaker, safety at home may be at risk. A home safety evaluation should be performed to identify fall and trip hazards and keep Mom and Dad reasonably safe. Home modifications are especially useful in promoting a sense of independence.
Installing grab bars in the bathroom promotes balance and steadiness when seniors exit the shower or use the toilet. Replace rugs with nonslip ones. Add lighting with easy access switches so Mom and Dad can reach the bathroom at night quickly. Reduce clutter in the home environment.
Outfit Mom and Dad with a personal emergency system. Devices, like GPS, fall detection, activity trackers and movement sensors, help keep parents independent while monitoring their safety. Evaluate their needs when selecting systems and be sure the seniors know how to operate the devices.
Tip 6: Manage Finances
Growing older requires sufficient financial funds. Adult children can help elderly parents manage their finances and retirement funds so that during a health emergency, reserves are available. Government programs are available to offer financial support and offset living expenses for eligible seniors.
Be prepared to estimate future costs, such as those for medical expenses, living arrangements and professional caregiving services. Understanding the financial position of parents gives adult children a better idea of whether additional financial help from government programs or Medicare is needed.
Tip 7: Discuss Ideal Living Arrangements
Most seniors prefer to age in the comfort of home. Others choose more supportive environments, like independent or assisted living communities. Living with a relative is also a practical option for aging parents. The health of elderly individuals can be readily managed in any of these settings.
Independent living is the first choice for many aging seniors. But remaining at home requires the support of family or professional caregivers, especially if the seniors require daily assistance. Caregiving services are designed to provide help with housework, meal preparation and transportation.
Managing the health of one’s aging parents can be accomplished, especially with support from dedicated caregivers at Assisting Hands Home Care. Our professional team of caregivers understand seniors’ daily requirements and are trained to provide them with compassionate, reliable assistance.
Our elder care services include help with personal care, which include the activities of daily living. We provide safe transportation to doctor’s appointments, social activities and therapy sessions. Cheerful companion care providers keep Mom and Dad well-socialized. We also offer medication reminders.
If your elderly parent suffers from Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, Assisting Hands Home Care will provide skilled, non-medical memory care in your loved one’s home. When the senior shows symptoms of dementia, like wandering or agitation, we’ll gently guide them back or calm them down.
Assisting Hands Home Care provides comprehensive senior home care services, including memory care, respite care and 24-hour home care. Our reputable home care agency in Plainfield serves the aging population living in the greater communities of Will and Kendall Counties, Illinois.