8 Ways You Can Help Your Elderly Parents As A Houston Caregiver
As our parents continue to age they may need more assistance. You may not know exactly what you can do to help them or even where to begin. Also, what should you do if your parents resist your efforts to help them?
1. Empathize with them.
At times your parents’ frustration, neediness, or moody behavior might be unsettling to you. On some days, in fact, they may be very unpleasant for you to be around. However, it is very important to understand where they are coming from and to be empathetic. Aging comes with a number of different losses, including loss of independence, mobility, friends, energy, health, and employment.
2. Call them on a regular basis.
When we were doing our research, the main thing that aging parents said that they wanted from their children was just to hear from them. Set an alert on your phone to remind you to check in to see how your parents are doing.
3. Involve other family members.
When trying to help your parents out, don’t try to do everything on your own, unless it is absolutely necessary. For example, there is one family that we know of that emails updates to one another any time one of the siblings visits the parents. That not only provides everyone in the family with information on the current situation and their parents’ health but also makes it a lot easier to share responsibilities and coordinate visits.
Another thing that is key is for family members to communicate with one another, especially when parents are in need of financial assistance. At times siblings will help to offset expenses by providing parents with some money each month – they simply need to know what they need in order to decide to provide help. Also, we recommend that you consult with a financial advisor specializing in elder care issues in order to find out what options are available to you.
4. Look for any potential problems.
Take a walk around your parents’ house, and look for any potential problems or any changes or repairs that need to be done. For example, make sure the stairs and hallways are well-lit, whether handrails need to be installed, or if there is any uneven flooring. Make sure emergency contact information is right next to their phone and all essential items are easily within reach. If anything major needs to be repaired, find out whether low-interest loans for seniors are offered by their state.
5. Advocate for your parents.
If one of your parents is ill, make sure you both have a good understanding of what this means and the treatment that is involved. For example, be sure that you know which medications your parent is taking as well as when they are supposed to take them. If you are going with them to their appointments, take notes and ask questions.
6. Encourage your parents to be active.
It is common for aging parents to become isolated, since they often lose vision or hearing, get tired easily, and stop driving. It is very important to encourage and help parents stay physically and socially active.
Talk to your parents about their synagogue or church members, senior groups, or friends. Find out community centers, universities, museums, libraries, or parks provide organized activities for seniors.
Physical activity is essential for delaying cognitive decline and improving strength, balance, endurance, and mood. For example, elderly parents can participate in senior exercise programs or walk on a regular basis.
7. Help your parents downsize without being too bossy.
When you are helping your parents downsize, refrain from telling them what they should and should not keep. Don’t throw anything away unless they give you their permission. Your parents will have many memories and will cherish things that help to remind them of happy events and relatives. They are specific to that person and although you might not find certain items value doesn’t mean that your view is shared by your parents.
8. Help your parents make a memory book.
Many seniors have problems with their short-term memory. It might help to reminiscence. Help your parents create a scrapbook, full of photos and the names of pets, places, and people from their past. Work on it together if possible.
What To Do If Your Parents Don’t Want Your Help
It is common for parents to refuse help from their children. Try to have a conversation with your parents before they need immediate help. If they are not open to receiving help from you right now, they may change their minds over time.
Another approach you can take is to ask other people to intervene instead. For example, you may ask a doctor close relatives, or siblings to speak to your parents. At times hearing about needing assistance from an outsider can help your parents truly hear what is being said and might make them more open to receiving help from you.
If your parent is a danger to others or themselves and is still refusing help from you. Contact your local social services department to step in. Your parent might get upset with you. However, their anger most likely will start to dissipate after they are less emotional and realize you had their safety and best interests in mind.
Assisting Hands Home Care was established to provide seniors, as well as others who need non-medical help at home, with the ability to remain comfortable, safe, and independent within their own homes. The home care franchise company Assisting Hands provides personalize in-home care and outstanding customer service to meet all of our clients’ needs.
Our Core Purpose
To deliver outstanding home care to enrich the lives of all of our clients and give their families peace of mind.
Our Mission Statement
To provide our clients with personalized custom non-medical support services within their homes, to help the disabled, elderly and others who need help with maintaining their quality of life. The services that we provide support the preferences and choices of our clients to help them maintain their independence and dignity. We help clients by always having a concern for their welfare, and gain a sense of pride and satisfaction for the value we are able to bring to their lives.