Taking care of elderly parents can be overwhelming. They may require a lot of attention and care, especially if they have health problems. For instance, it can quickly become overwhelming if they need to be taken to the doctor regularly or depend on you for their daily needs.
When you’re taking care of an elderly parent, it’s important to remember that you can’t do everything by yourself. You need to learn how to delegate tasks to other family members or professionals who can help with caregiving duties.
Here are five tips for taking care of your elderly parents:
Find Out The Kind Of Care They Want
While it may seem obvious, you should ask your parents what kind of help they need. This will help you determine what types of tasks they can do themselves and which ones they might benefit from assistance. For example, if your mother has difficulty walking due to arthritis, she may be able to cook meals but will need help carrying them to the table.
You should also ask them if they want professional care. For instance, they might want to live in an assisted living facility like Vivante Living or somewhere similar. They may want to stay home but get around-the-clock care through a home health aide or nurse who comes daily or weekly.
They may also prefer a combination of these options. This means they might do fine on their own during the day but have someone come in at night so that you can sleep soundly without worrying about them being alone until morning.
Ensure They Have Access To Healthcare
Older people often come down with serious illnesses that require medical attention. If they don’t see a doctor when they should, it could cause further problems later down the road. Ensure your parents have access to healthcare whenever needed so they don’t get sicker than necessary.
You can provide them with transportation or arrange for someone else to take them to their appointments. You may also want to consider investing in a medical alert system, which can help you keep track of your parent’s health status at all times.
Make Sure They’re Taking Medications On Time
The most important thing you can do is ensure your parent takes all the necessary medications. This should include over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and prescription drugs like blood pressure or cholesterol pills. For instance, if your parent has problems remembering when to take medications, use an alarm clock or pillbox with alarms, or ask a doctor if there’s another way to help remind them.
You may set up a pill box with alarms that will go off simultaneously every day. This can help your elderly parent remember when to take their medications on time. If your elder doesn’t have an alarm clock but regularly takes medication in the morning, try setting up a daily reminder on your device. This way, it will go off at the same time every morning until they get used to it and starts remembering on their own again.
Prioritize Their Safety
Another thing that you can do is to ensure that they don’t fall. This means installing grab bars in the bathroom, making sure pathways are clear of clutter, and removing throw rugs from rooms where people walk barefoot, including bathrooms. If you have slippery floors in your home, consider using nonslip mats in high-traffic areas such as hallways and stairs.
You should also ensure that there are no cords lying around, stairs without rails, and other potential hazards in the home. Also, ensure that their electrical outlets are working correctly and don’t have loose wires hanging. This way, you can avoid accidents and keep everyone safe.
Give Them Control Over Their Finances
Your elderly parent may be unable to manage their personal finances anymore due to age or illness. Thus, you should organize their bills and finances regularly so they don’t have trouble paying them off each month. This will also prevent them from falling into debt or getting taken advantage of by dishonest people.
You may use finance monitoring software that can help you track where all your money is going and how much you have left in your account at the end of the month. You can also set up automatic bill payment services, so all your bills get paid automatically without you worrying about it.
Your parents did the best they could to care for you when you were young; now, it’s your turn to return the favor and help take care of them. That’s why it can seem difficult to suddenly accept that they need a little more help as they age.
Fortunately, these tips will help you get by as you assist your parents in their senior years. However, if you don’t feel equipped to do these alone, consider outsourcing professional care that will adequately support your elderly parents.