Aging is a part of life that’s inevitable, but we may not realize just how much it affects our entire family. As our parents age, we may come to find that more and more caregiving responsibilities fall on our shoulders. Even if they’re in good health, all of their needs will continue changing with the passing of time. Soon, they may even need a bit of outside help.
Let’s take a quick look at a few tips that can help when it comes to caring for aging parents.
There are care teams that will come to your home if necessary. Just do a quick online search to find them. For example, if you live in Arkansas, search for Arkansas senior care, and you will be able to find what you’re looking for. These professionals can help with things like bathing and bathroom activities, personal hygiene, dressing and grooming, and even assistance with mobility. In addition to that, they can perform light housekeeping duties and help with meal preparation and medication reminders.
Prepare for Change
Moving into new environments can be difficult, so if you’ll be caring for your parents in your home, it’s a clever idea to do all that you can to prepare them. Have conversations with them regarding both your expectations and theirs. Will they have the ability to come and go at their whim? Will they need assistance with a variety of things? Talk with them about all of this and more before the move in order to make it easier for everyone involved.
As your parents get older, caring for them will mean taking some additional safety precautions. You might need to juggle the sleeping arrangements a bit in order to ensure that your parents sleep in the safest space for them. You want to try to avoid falls, so making sure they’re on the ground level is paramount. You might also install some grab bars in the bathrooms near the shower and toilet and remove any area rugs or carpets that could be dangerous. Also, good lighting is key, even at night, so install some nightlights.
As you prepare for senior care in your home, it’s important to ensure that you keep your priorities and schedule in mind. If you have a full-time job, you may want to have a plan in place in the event your parents need someone in the middle of the day. Additionally, keep in mind that burnout is a real thing when you’re with your parents 24 hours a day. Make sure you have your own space and can make a bit of time for yourself when possible.
When you’re caring for your parents, there’s more to it than simply offering care. They’ll need you to keep them company, do chores, and run errands. It’s vital to keep track of just how much help they need throughout the day. Monitoring their ADLs (Activities of Daily Living) can let you know exactly how much assistance they need. A few of those ADLs to look out for are things like autonomous eating, dressing, toilet hygiene, mobility, and personal hygiene. If they can accomplish each of these things without assistance, taking care of them in your home will be much easier due to your responsibilities being limited.
Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Even though you dearly love your parents, it can be difficult to make the time to check on them throughout the day when you work full-time. To that end, you might want to consider asking family or friends to stop by occasionally to check on the elders when you can’t be there. This can give you peace of mind while simultaneously relieving a bit of the pressure you feel.