As your parents get older, they’ll need your help to go about their daily lives. This may entail figuring out their medical and social needs, understanding what options are available, and making decisions that affect their life on their behalf. This new dynamic in your relationship can confuse both of you. After all, they’ve cared for you for most of your life. Here are five tips to help you care for your aging parents.
1. Know When to Step In
There are several reasons why you may need to step in as a caregiver for your aging parents. These include a steady decline in overall health, an unexpected health emergency, new health difficulties, or a new diagnosis and treatment strategy. Staying active in your parent’s day-to-day life as they age will make it easier to notice subtle changes in their behaviors or routines. This will allow you to know when it’s time to step in or organize extra care for them.
Shifts in patterns might manifest as missing bill payments, skipping dates with friends, or forgetting a doctor’s appointment. The more involved you are, the easier it’ll be to notice when your parents are losing touch and need help.
2. Share the Responsibility With Your Siblings
If you have siblings, share the responsibilities evenly and make sure you have a backup plan for when life gets in the way. This could mean your brother handles the weekly grocery shopping, and you handle the doctor visits. Every week, one of you invites mum home for supper. Alternately, your sibling provides care on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, while you assume responsibility on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
3. Consider Home Health Aides
Home health aides can be a valuable resource for caring for aging parents who need help going about their daily activities. Home health aides help with six or more tasks, including providing medication reminders, cooking, bathing, transferring, toileting, and light housekeeping. Home health aides also provide companionship and emotional support, which can be great for your parent’s social life. Knowing that your aging parents are taken care of will give you the peace of mind to continue pursuing your goals.
4. Consider Chiropractic Care
As your parents get older, they’ll start experiencing a certain degree of discomfort and loss of mobility. They’ll also have weaker joints and muscles that affect their balance, leading to an increased risk of slip and fall injuries, which are the main cause of accidents in restaurants, hotels, and public buildings. For older people, a simple fall can lead to life-altering injuries that lead to long hospital stays.
Chiropractic care will improve your aging parents’ flexibility, mobility, and balance so they can still be steady on their feet. It also provides relief from chronic pain caused by spinal misalignments. Regular chiropractic adjustments also reduce joint pains that can rob your parents of life’s simple pleasures.
Getting your parents chiropractic care can positively impact their overall quality of life in their senior years. The United States has over 70,000 registered chiropractors, so finding chiropractic care for your aging parents shouldn’t be difficult.
5. Listen, Don’t Dictate
Losing independence over certain aspects of one’s life can be frustrating and humiliating. While it may seem trivial, asking your parents if they need help before getting involved will give them a sense of control over their life. You should also avoid making decisions for your parents without consulting them first. Just because they need help doesn’t mean they’ve given up all control over their lives.
Taking care of your aging parents can be overwhelming for you and your siblings. Before fully assuming this new role, be sure to set boundaries and conduct some research to understand the implications of what you’re committing to.