Caring for Your Parents

It can be a big shock when it’s your turn to care for your parents. You’re busy with your life raising children and managing a career when suddenly your mom or dad is no longer able to live independently. Many family caregivers are taken off guard. The video below offer some great tips on how you can be better prepared to take care of an elderly loved one.

Senior Citizen Safety

Caring for your parents takes lots of help.   Don’t try to do it all on your own, there are a number of places in your community that offer excellent home health aides who can relieve you of some of the work and stress involved in caring for parent.  Make sure to look at  how you can make the homes safer for elderly relatives.  Do a review of the house and check that they have safety bars and grips the bathroom, the hallways and stairwells are free of clutter, all the lights in the house work well, have the boiler inspector to make sure it is operating safely and always have a medical alert system in the home of any senior citizen who may need emergency response services.
One suggestion is to have a conversation with your elderly relatives before it’s too late.  You need to understand what they are wishes are.  The job of the caregiver is not to give orders but to help the other person make the best decisions they can. Another idea from this video is to keep your eyes open for problems early on.  One author suggests that by monitoring how well your parents are doing with something like food, you can get a measure as to how well they’re going to do in other parts of their lives.  If you find that they’re not eating right or that they’re not stocking up on the right foods it could indicate a more serious problem. As soon as you receive the problem you need to step in.  Speak to your siblings and have a mature conversation with your parents in a non-threatening way. Nobody wants to give up control of their lives to their children so make it clear that that is not what you’re trying to do.

 

 

Another good point made on this video is that the way you treat your parents or grandparents will influence the way other people will treat them.  When doctors, nurses, home health care attendants  and other geriatric professionals see you treating your parents with respect they’re much more likely to do the same.

Finally, one of the authors makes the point that caring for loved ones is a journey that you go on with them.  If you frame it in your own mind correctly caring for an aging parent can actually be a growing experience.

When it comes to caring for elderly parents safety has to be your major concern.   Make sure that you have a senior alert system installed in their home to provide them with 24 hour protection in the event of a sudden illness or accident.

 

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