As your parents grow older, they will require more care and attention. Now, this is an opportunity for you to be able to look out for them—as they did when you were a baby. The dynamics may be different since senior care is very different from nursery care and babysitting. However, the purpose is the same. And that is to make sure that your elder parents will stay healthy, happy, and safe throughout their golden years.
Since your parents are aging, the energy they once had is long gone, but that’s bound to happen anyway. Now, it’s up to you to take care of their needs, understand what they feel, and sometimes make decisions for them. While this may sound manageable at first, you may later on realize that caring for senior folks is challenging in the long run, especially if you also have personal adult responsibilities to attend to.
While leaving your senior parents in a nursing home is always an option, there are times when this is not possible. Your parents might personally choose to just stay at home or even refuse to be cared for by someone else—even by you. It could get difficult, but there are several ways to make this responsibility a bit lighter.
Acknowledge How Much Care Your senior Parents Need
The first thing you should know is how much care and assistance does your parents really need. If they can open up to you, then all you have to do is listen. However, if they don’t open up to you, or if they are not keen about getting care and assistance, you can personally observe them each day and take note of which things they actually need help for.
Keep in mind which aspects would they need some supervision. Soon enough, you’ll realize how much care they actually need. To ensure you remember every detail, create a note or list about their needs and how often it could change so you know which areas you should focus on.
Consider Professional Caregiving Services
Sooner or later, you will probably notice that your parents would need help and assistance in basic day-to-day activities like walking, eating, and bathing. This may be the right time to invest in full-time caregiving services. You can call the help of trusted caregivers, like those from https://homenursingwithheart.com/, as they can help you with all types of senior care and support.
Hiring in-home caregivers can help elder persons in tasks like:
- Taking their medications on time.
- Prepare nutritious meals that are easily digestible.
- Assist or take care of their bathroom habits and routines.
- Dressing and changing adult diapers whenever necessary.
- Help them get moving and stay active.
- Provide genuine companionship.
Don’t feel guilty about asking other people’s help when taking care of your senior parents. After all, it’s for their welfare, and they can understand that you only want the best service for them.
Prioritize Your Health As Well
Getting sick is the last thing that you’d want to happen to yourself as no one else might be left to take care of your parents. Plus, your parents’ health and immune system are weaker and more susceptible to diseases at their old age. That’s why you have to prioritize your health as well.
As much as possible, eat healthy foods, exercise daily, and avoid exposure to extreme weather conditions, stress, and overly crowded places. To properly care for your senior parents, you must not be a carrier of any disease that they might later contract.
Provide Nutritious Meals
It’s a well-known fact that your senior parents’ nutritional needs are extremely important, especially if they are sick. Older folks are at risk of malnutrition due to loss of appetite, anxiety, depression, and other factors. Your parents are also not capable of shopping for their own food or cooking their own meals, since old age would also affect their energy and mobility.
Now, it’s your job to make sure that they get to eat nutritious meals that are soft and easy to digest. Keep your kitchen stocked with healthy produce and snacks so you can provide them complete meals whenever they feel hungry. Feeding them at the right time with the right food will boost their overall health and keep them away from illnesses.
Keep Your Home Safe And Accessible
Accidents can happen when your senior parents are left to take care of themselves. There’s always the risk of slipping and falling, even if they are just staying at home. To prevent this, you need to keep your home safe and accessible for them anytime. If your front porch has short stairs, you can have it modified into a ramp, especially if they’re in a wheelchair.
If you have stairs inside your home, you can use rubber mats to raise the steps. You can also add additional handrails on both sides for better support. If it’s at risk of being slippery, install rubberized treads or carpets on each step. If possible, move their bedroom into the first floor of the home so they won’t have to use the stairs anymore. Aside from that, you must keep your bathroom floors dry all the time to avoid them from slipping on the tiles.
Keep Your Senior Parents Proactive
Just because your parents are old, it doesn’t mean that they will just be passing their time on the couch or bed and wait for mealtime. Your senior parents need regular exercise to maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints too.
Other benefits of physical activity for your senior parents include:
- Reduces memory problems and mental decline
- Prevents dementia
- Keeps them in a happier mood
However, it’s part of your job to prepare for appropriate exercises and activities for them. Surely, you cannot let them do strenuous stretches as this will do more harm than good. They can, however, enjoy playing board games, play with grandchildren, take a leisure stroll in the park, or go gardening. Keeping them active and engaged is a sure way to boost their physical, mental, social, and emotional health.
Taking care of your senior parents may not be an easy task, but it’s all worth it. Following the tips above will guide and help you determine how to best take care of them. Senior care and assistance are going to be challenging at some point, but as long as your primary concern is their safety, security, and comfort, then you would already know what to do by instinct. Seeking professional caregiving services is also a great option if your folks opt for home care. This will allow you to take care of your senior parents better since you have someone else to rely on and share the responsibilities with.