Helping Elderly Parents – What You Can Do
In this article Helping Elderly Parents – What You Can Do we will go through various things you can do to help your parents.
Since you are taking the time to read this article it is apparent that you love your parents and are concerned for them and their future.
One of the most important things to try to do is prepare a plan in conjunction with them for the future.
If possible do this while they are able to live a full life independently.
Discuss this topic with your parents quietly and calmly.
Don’t get upset if some of their answers are not what you have expected.
If this happens and you cannot understand why they are feeling the way they do simply ask them why they think this way.
Remember that many parents will be stressed about aging.
Before you talk to them phone them a day or two beforehand and let them know you wish to talk with them regarding their future.
Reassure them that you only want to know their wishes.
Don’t pressure them. You can always revisit at another time.
Possibly they may listen to a professional rather than you.
Don’t be offended if this is the case. Many elderly people were raised to trust what professionals have to say.
Get their Doctor or Minister to talk with them and ask them if they would like you to arrange this and if you could be present.
Signs a Parent Needs Help
You may observe a number of signs in your parent’s behaviour from time to time that are not normal for one or both of them.
Look at the state of the house and yard when visiting or driving past.
Is it being maintained the way it always has.
When visiting observe cleanliness. Is the house becoming cluttered or dirtier than normal.
Are your parents missing appointments. I am almost 70 and I write all my appointments in a diary I look at every morning.
Forgetfulness is part of aging.
Are your parents experiencing balance problems. Problems getting out of bed or in and out of the shower.
I have some balance issues and I sit on the side of the bed for a few minutes before getting up.
I do the same if getting up from a chair.
Are your parents looking more dishevelled than you would expect them to be. Maybe their clothes previously were always ironed but now not so crisp looking.
A problem that I experienced for a while was remembering medications. My daughter recommended to me to get our Pharmacist to pack them for me in a pack for when they needed to be taken. That was 5 years ago and I think I can count on one hand how many times I have forgotten since.
Personal hygiene can be another issue for you to keep an eye on.
If your parents are still driving check their car for damage that may indicate they are not quite as alert as previously.
Losing interest in socialising and generally in things that were previously important to them.
Not properly handling finances.
A difference in moods of the parent is another sign.
General confusion with doing things that they had previously no problems with.
What Do You Need To Do
If you feel that one or both of your parents may be at risk of health issues it is time to get their doctor involved.
There is an old saying that a very good friend of mine keeps reminding me of and that is “Prevention is Better than Cure”
Another task you can do is if driving is becoming a problem, or even confusion, maybe it is time to give up driving.
From one who knows this is a very hard decision for a senior citizen to make. I would if I were you have a quiet chat to their doctor and tell him or her about your concerns. If you think you can handle this delicate matter yourself without causing any major family disruptions then gently coax that parent to do it.
Otherwise ask the doctor to handle it. These people are fully trained for this situation and do it more often than you think.
Please do not overestimate your ability as it is important that you maintain a good relationship with your parents.
For balance and a lot of other situations there are many aids available to help your parents stay in their own home.
Loneliness and The Elderly
Many elderly people experience loneliness.
I now live in a retirement community and have many friends here.
Before moving here following the death of my wife after 45 years of marriage it took me 12 months to get used to being by myself.
I was in a situation living in a town away from my family and many of our friends.
Loneliness can have some affects on a senior citizens health.
I am not a qualified medical person so if you believe your parents are lonely please consult their doctor.
It can lead to them suffering dementia in the next decade.
There are physical affects also as that person will possibly not look after their diet and do none or very little exercise.
I know I didn’t.
How To Help An Aging Person Stay in Their Own Home
You will find it is generally better for a person to remain in their own home as long as possible.
They will be happier in surroundings they know and have gotten used to over many years.
Arrange for you or a professional to conduct a safety audit of the home.
You may like to read this article recently published on our website.
The above article should provide a lot of appropriate information for you.
A couple of small things you can do to help them that will mean a lot to them is clean up their yard for them on weekends and cook a few meals for them occasionally.
I know what I look forward to more than often is a phone call from my children or grand children and the occasional visit.
You can always ask for help from your siblings and don’t forget to ask friends to visit occasionally.
My son gives me advice on my finances. I tend to spend a bit too much money.
He is an accountant and does audits on my bank accounts and is constantly telling me I am spending too much.
I know he is only doing it because he loves me but I know I have enough money for the next 40 years.
Both the children have told me not to leave them anything so I believe I am only trying to do what they want me to do.
I will leave links to a few other articles you may find of interest.
Healthy Things for Seniors To Do
I believe that exercise is the main component of a healthy lifestyle.
Exercise in my belief can keep the body in shape as well as provide improvements in the mental area of your health.
Walking is a good gentle form of exercise.
Diet is also very important.
Eat the correct foods and maintain a healthy weight.
Naturally Diet and Exercise go hand in hand.
Socialisation can stimulate the brain.
Mix with others as frequently as possible.
Finally develop a good sleep pattern.
These things obviously are only a fraction but they are a good start.
Thank you for your time reading this article.
I hope and trust that you now have more of an idea on Helping Elderly Parents – What You Can Do.
I do believe that this is mostly common sense.
Treat your parents as adults and stay calm when discussing things with them.
If necessary bring in professional help.
Sometimes things may not go smoothly and this is because your parents as with a lot of older people are set in their ways and resist change.
If you are looking to move them to a retirement community or nursing home the biggest objection will be downsizing.
This is not an easy move for them to make and it basically, I believe, is due to having to move from the family home where they have many happy memories.
Here are some other articles you may like to read.