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As we age, it’s important for us to remember that our parents are aging too. Along with growing older, it’s not uncommon for many to experience health problems associated with aging. Health problems can bring on stress and anxiety and having a compassionate support team is critical.
It can be difficult to even know where to start when it comes to becoming someone’s primary caretaker, but here are a few tips that may make it a little bit easier.
Stay in touch
Keeping in touch with mom or dad is important. It can be difficult for them to admit they may be at a point in their life where they may need some extra help, so by staying in touch you’re able to see firsthand how they’re doing.
Encourage them to go out and spend time with friends or community members especially if you don’t live close by. This will allow them to have their own local support system for when you’re not around.
Attend appointments with them
Staying on top of their health is a top priority. The more you know about your parents health, the better assistance you’ll be able to provide.
It doesn’t hurt to go with your parents to their doctors appointments. You can hear everything the doctor has to say and take note of ways you can help make their lives a little bit easier.
Make home adjustments
Something as simple as removing area rugs or door mats can make a difference in improving your parents mobility around their house. If getting around is something they struggle with, it may be a good idea to look into adding additional handrails – especially in the bathroom.
Other adjustments you can make include moving commonly used items to lower shelves, keeping walkways clear of clutter, or replacing appliances with adaptive versions (for example, a walk-in bathtub).
Hire a caregiver
Companies like Acti-Kare Responsive In-Home Care can provide licensed caregivers to come in and help your parents perform everyday tasks around their home.
The caregivers are sometimes trained to work with people with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, or even mental disabilities. They can help with meal preparation, grocery shopping, medication management, transportation to appointments, bathing, grooming, or even just provide companionship.
By having a caregiver, your parents will be able to continue to do the things they enjoy with just a little help from someone else.
Teach them how to use technology
More and more seniors are starting to use Facebook to stay in touch with friends and family. By teaching your parents to utilize these tools, you can make it easier to stay in touch with them.
Not only are social media outlets a great resource for seniors, but some smart home products could prove to be extremely helpful also. Smart cameras, wearable technology, or smart appliances are all things that could make everyday life easier for aging parents.
Have more ideas? Lets hear them! Comment below with some of the ways you provide support to your aging parents.