Collaborative Post¦ Once you reach a certain age, looking after your parents will become an increasingly likely prospect. And as they grow older, the necessity of care will grow exponentially.
That’ll mean making adjustments to your life and, more importantly, ensuring your parents make adjustments to theirs.
To help you travel down this path, we’ve assembled some advice on how best to care for elderly relatives.
Altering their home
If your parents suffer from mobility issues then substantial changes may need to be made to their homes. These alterations could include the installation of a stairlift, handrails, non-slip mats underneath rugs, or panic alarms.
Many of these changes to your parents’ home will cost a lot of money, so you’ll either need savings to spare or ensure your parents do. Once you’ve no need for these household items anymore, use companies like webuyanystairlift.com to have them uplifted at no cost.
Be sure to talk
Getting older is a disempowering experience. You’re used to being independent and suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, your children are making momentous decisions on your behalf.
That’s why it’s vital to discuss every step you’re taking for your parents with them. This is a journey you’re travelling together rather than an imposition on your time.
Giving your parents enough autonomy to make their own choices will put you in a more equitable position when difficult discussions have to be had.
Don’t take on the burden alone
Caring for your parents isn’t an easy task when they require regular or constant observation. It’s not a challenge to be tackled on your own.
There are many options available to you if you need help. Other family members may be willing, while professional carers will be able to give your parents time when you can’t.
This is a stressful task. Don’t be afraid to take time to yourself and let someone else shoulder the burden, even for a few hours.
Don’t isolate your parents
Your elderly parents may be vulnerable but that doesn’t mean they should be wrapped in cotton wool. They’ll still need as much social activity as anyone else.
Be sure to include them in as many family events as possible, and give them ample time for friends. Social contact is a rejuvenating lifestyle choice. Make sure your parents enjoy as much of it as they need.
A wealth of educational resources centre on how to effectively care for elderly relatives, written for both academic and popular audiences. Books like How To Care For Aging Parents by Virginia Morris and Parenting Your Parents by Tammy Ethridge and Grant Ethridge have become global bestsellers, giving readers practicable skills they can practice daily.
But more than anything, listen to the experiences of others whenever you can. Support groups exist across the world, as well as online, detailing the best ways to help your parents, and providing coping mechanisms for this difficult process. Seek them out wherever you can.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.