Over 10 percent of American parents also care for an aging adult, usually their own parents.
The growing number of people caring for aging parents has seen more people looking for advice on how to cope. Caring for aging parents is much more than merely driving them to a doctor’s appointment or helping them with grocery shopping.
But, before you know, the forces of age start bearing down on your parents. Now they need you more than ever before.
You could probably do with a helping hand. Check out our tips in this passionate guide on how to care for aging parents. Let’s go!
1. Monitor Your The Well-Being of Your Parents
Most Americans say that they’re stressed and busy a lot of the time.
Between work, child care, and other responsibilities, it can be difficult to find the time to think about anything else.
At first, you’ll start to notice small things.
Does your Father forget things you told him just the other day? Does your Mother struggle to walk down the stairs?
It’s essential that you monitor the behavior of your aging parents. This can help you to know how to respond to the decline of your parents in old age.
2. Get Help Early
Caregivers spend an average of 20 hours per week caring for their loved ones, such as an elderly parent.
A further 13 percent of unsung heroes spend up to 40 hours per week supporting and caring for their loved one.
This is an almost impossible task to struggle with by yourself. You should take note of when your aging parents need care.
The earlier you get help for your caring responsibilities, the better you can cope with the growing demand on your time.
Getting help from others includes rallying the troops in your family to all pull their weight. You may also consider hiring in-home care for some of the time. You can read more here about home care.
You may also be eligible for government funding or charity support. It’s important to inquire about the options available to you.
3. Providing Easy and Nutritious Meals
Many elderly people are vulnerable to malnourishment and poor diet as they get older. Prescription medicines and loneliness can contribute to a poor diet.
However, many seniors have poor diets because of the challenges of going grocery shopping and preparing and cooking meals.
Therefore, many seniors skip meals, rather than going to the lengths of cooking and eating three square meals per day.
From meals on wheels services, food delivery and preparing meals yourself for your aging parents, you can help to ensure that they stay healthy in old age.
4. Look After Yourself
While you’re taking care of someone else, it’s easy to forget about looking after yourself. Remember, if you’re going to look after someone else, you’ve got to make sure you’re in the best of health.
You know the airplane announcement that you should take care of your own oxygen mask before helping anyone else. You should definitely heed the wisdom!
Caregivers are especially at risk of developing mental health problems. Up to 70 percent of caregivers display symptoms of depression.
Other problems caused by lack of sleep or anxiety can also result in more significant health problems, such as high blood pressure or risk of stroke.
5. Encourage Your Parent to Stay Active
Around 31 million older Americans aren’t getting enough exercise. In many cases, this can further worsen the effects of aging for your parent.
You can help to keep your parent physical active. You can encourage them to go for walks or do gentle exercises, such as yoga or swimming.
Even your aging parent is not capable of physical activity, you can ensure that they remain engaged with their community.
If they normally go to church, or any religious gathering, you could enlist the help of the community to get your parent to events on your behalf.
6. Ensure a Safe Home Environment
One in four older adults falls each year. This can really damage your aging parents quality of life.
Many of these falls happen in the home.
You can ensure that either your home or your aging parents home is a safe environment.
Some of the changes required to improve the safety of the home may need you to hire a professional. For example, grab bars in the shower or wheelchair access.
However, there some things you can do with basic DIY skills. For example, ensuring that storage spaces are within reach of your parent.
7. Consider the Mobility of Your Parent
Roughly one in five older people have mobility problems. This can be extremely worrying for many seniors who become isolated as a result.
However, there are several options for seniors to get around. You need to make them aware of public transport options.
There are also many services provided which can enable your aging parent to get around by themselves. You could also encourage other family members to facilitate the mobility of your parent.
8. Prepare for the Dent to Your Finances
Caring for your aging parent can also leave a significant dent in your finances.
Even if your aging parent is not presently financial dependent on you. Almost 50% of caregivers didn’t realize they want to have to step up financially before.
The average monthly expenses for caregivers include around $273 for medical supplies, $159 for groceries and $151 for personal-care products.
You need to take advantage of any resources available to you before you take any dramatic steps, such as quitting your job.
How to Care for Aging Parents?
When your aging parent becomes more and more dependent on you it can come as quite a shock. Prepare for your aging parent’s care as soon as possible.
You can ensure you give your parents the best care you can with our passionate guide on how to care for aging parents.
Do you want to know more about how you can help your aging parent? Check out this blog on life insurance for seniors.