8 Ways To Help Care For Your Elderly Parents
Today, improvements in living standards and advances in medical care have given us increased life expectancy and longer life-spans, now many people are living well into their eighties and nineties. This results in a large proportion of middle-aged people having to care for their elderly parents.
Providing care for an elderly parent or friend can be an extremely difficult task, both emotionally and physically. It involves a lot of time and effort and often creates stressful situations and decisions within the family.
Please find below 8 helpful tips to consider when caring for your elderly parent or friend.
1. Get the whole family involved – Try not to make decisions alone, get your whole family involved in discussions in making decisions. Involve your parent or person who requires the care if possible, it’s important to take into consideration their wishes, opinions and feelings during this process.
2. Prepare in advance – It’s important that you prepare for the future as early as possible, making arrangements for legal documents such as wills, financial documents, insurance policies etc are up to date and kept in a safe place.
3. Assessing you parents needs – Identifying your parents needs is crucial, look into the different areas where they maybe struggling to cope, such areas may include grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning the home, personal hygiene. In some cases it may become impossible to care for your parent your self, in such cases you may have to look for some Home Care help or in some situations re-housing your relative in a residential or nursing home maybe the right choice.
4. Keeping track of things – Keeping a good record of your parents medical history, medicines, allergies and allergic reactions is a good idea, this will be helpful when discussing things with your doctor.
5. Educate yourself – Speak to your parents doctor about instructions for giving medicine and tablets, such as when drugs should be taken, how often, what are the best foods to eat and avoid when taking the tablets etc.
6. Don’t try and do it all yourself – Sharing the responsibility of giving care at home with other members of your family will make sure things run more smoothly, it’s important a single person is not over burdened with the physical and emotion stress alone.
7. Be aware of any warning signs – Always look out for any warning signs such as weight loss, forgetfulness, poor attention, reduced mobility or physical impairment.
8. Don’t be afraid to seek for outside help – Providing care can be very stressful both physically and emotionally and is an extremely demanding responsibility. If you are unable to continue to provide the help needed for your parent anymore then there are many options available to you such as, nursing services, home care, local agencies, residential homes, respite care and nursing homes. A good idea is to ask the advice of your local GP for information on local agencies which can help assess you and your parents needs.
Article by: Darren Hurley
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