Adult children are often entrusted with seeking or providing senior or elderly care. It’s important to remember that it’s not easy for your elders to become reliant on you or others for their basic needs.
This increasing dependency develops for some adults or senior family members around their retirement, and their children have left home and settled elsewhere. While for others, it starts while they still have children at home who are also dependent on them.
You must plan ahead of time for how you will care for your elderly seniors. The best way is to follow the below suggestions.
1. Create Social Connections and Keep them Active
Many elders feel lonely as they grow older, while others struggle with depression. Take care of your elderly and make sure they stay connected to the rest of the world. Many activities and places to visit in the community that helps elders remain social and active.
It is essential to pay them frequent visits. Aside from boredom, isolation can be emotionally damaging. Socially connecting with people gives elders more energy and attention, making them feel more confident and achieve tranquility. Also, elders benefit from the social engagement with you, and you benefit from the comfort that they are safe, healthy, and doing well.
It’s a well-known truth that if older people exercise consistently, they remain disease-free. Hence, start with activities that are easy for them to do. As their abilities improve, they can progress to more challenging exercises.
2. Check their Medications
Ensure that they are taking their medications on time. All their prescriptions must be filled and replenished regularly. Also, get a pillbox organizer with compartments labeled with the days of the week and timings of the dosages.
It will make it easier for them to take their medications. Also, if a new prescription is prescribed, make sure to ask your doctor/pharmacist about any potential side effects or drug interactions.
3. Make Modification to the House
If you have elderly parents staying at home, you must prepare the house for them. Most elders prefer to live separately since they do not wish to burden their children. It’s best to go about their home and decide what might be a safety hazard. Some changes may be easy, while others may be more complicated.
- Install a ramp for walkers and wheelchairs.
- Install a few grab bars and handrails in the toilet and shower.
- Install carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.
- Check the lighting in the house to ensure it is bright enough.
- Install auto-sensor nightlights in the house to see if they wake up at night.
- Ensure there are non-skid mats in the bathroom and any other places that could be slippery.
- Get rid of any unnecessary junk or furniture that is in the way.
- To avoid potential falls, tuck away cables, wires, and cords.
4. Healthy Meals
Your loved one may lack the ability or willingness to prepare meals for themselves. Ensure you feed them properly to maintain their health. You can cook meals for them in advance.
Many alternative deliverable meal plan options are available that your elders may enjoy. Some of these meal plan options even accommodate special needs like diabetic meals.
5. Commuting Issues and Arranging Schedules
Due to deteriorating cognitive ability or reaction time on the road, elders can no longer drive. Hence, you must assess their driving capabilities. If it becomes a problem, provide other solutions like hiring a driver or using a grocery delivery service.
It is advisable to try to set up a plan with other family members to assist your elders with bathing, errands, doctor appointments, shopping, cleaning, among other things. You may need to engage someone to assist you with some of these duties, which need to be included in the plan. A timetable will help you stay organized and structured and let your elders know their agenda.
6. Hire Help
You may need to hire a helper, assistant, or caretaker. It can be someone who assists your elders with daily tasks such as bathing, errands, or housework.
Ensure you check references or go through a registered agent if you do not know the person. This may be a budgeted expense or a resource available for a small charge.
7. Finances and Paperwork
If your parents are financially dependent on you, it is essential to have open discussions about money. Elders are generally uncomfortable or unwilling to discuss their finances. Be honest with them, seek their advice, offer suggestions, and find a solution that benefits both sides.
Ensure all their vital documents, such as their power of attorney, are up to date and finalized. It is not an easy conversation to have, but it is necessary.
When caring for your elders, you must make sure you treat them with respect, love, and patience. While it may be difficult at times, you should remember that for elders to become reliant on you or others for their care is not easy for them. It is necessary to provide them with the best possible care.
Apart from the aforementioned elderly care at home tips, you can care for elders by simply being there for them. Just a few words of encouragement from you and a few minutes of your time to talk to them could brighten their day.