In the United States, it is becoming more and more common for children to take care of their aging parents. In fact, 44% of caregivers are taking care of their parents. When you are helping a parent through their late years of life, it can be difficult to know how to treat them.
Do you want to learn more about how you can best help an aging loved one by providing different senior care options? Keep reading these 9 tips for caring for aging parents.
1. Create Advance Directives
One of the first things to do when you become a caretaker for your parents is to be sure they have advance directives. While this may be something that is difficult for you to talk about with them, it is vital that you plan for the future.
Even if your parents are still in good health, you want to be sure you know what your parents’ wishes are for their end-of-life care and medical treatment.
You may also want to discuss some type of future assisted living options. By creating a plan now, it will make helping your aging parents in the future much easier.
2. Try to Ensure Autonomy
Next, you should do everything you can to preserve the autonomy of your parents. As your parents’ age and begin losing independence, it may be easy for them to be frustrated and helpless.
To prevent this, you should try letting your parents do things on their own, as long as it is safe. For example, you want to be sure that you involve your parents in decisions about their medical treatment and other types of care.
Even if your parents make mistakes, it is important that they feel like they have a little bit of control over their own lives.
3. Establish Open Communication
One tip that will make taking care of your parents easier is establishing open communication when you first begin caring for them. By talking with them about each decision you make regarding their health and care, you will help them understand what is going on.
While conversations that have to do with end-of-life care and assisted living may be difficult to bring up, it will always be easier if you have good communication patterns to begin with.
4. Find Ways to Manage Your Schedule
Taking care of others full time can be an overwhelming task. One way that you can make it easier is to find ways to manage your schedule.
Something that can help you do this is relying on other people to help support your aging parents. If you are entirely responsible for providing care to your parents, you will not have time for other parts of your life, like work, your family, and even hobbies.
One thing that can help you manage your time is by trying a CDPAP program. In these programs, patients can select their own children or other family members to be their caregivers. This provides your parents with the care they need while providing you with a livable wage.
By utilizing these types of programs, you will no longer have to balance your work schedule with your caregiving and you will find it easier to manage your time.
5. Make Your Home Accessible
Something else that you need to consider is whether or not your home is accessible for elderly people. For example, if your house has several levels with many sets of stairs, it may not be possible for your aging parents to live with you.
If they have been in any type of accident, you may need to make their own home accessible for a wheelchair. By rearranging your home, you can make it a safer place for your loved one to live.
6. Prioritize Healthy Meals
Many seniors suffer from malnutrition. Because of this, as a caregiver, it is important that you prioritize creating healthy meals for your parents. Making sure they get all of their daily nutrients can help them have more energy throughout their day.
You also want to be sure that your parents don’t skip their meals. Having easy-ready meals or always eating together at meal times can make it easier for your parents to stay healthy.
7. Find Options for Socialization
Everyone needs to find ways to socialize and make friends, even elderly people. One tip that you can do to help your aging parents is to help them find ways to socialize. Keeping your parents active and engaged can help them be motivated to stay healthy.
Ask your parents about their hobbies and try to get them involved in clubs, recreational activities, and other events.
8. Get Professional Help When You Need It
Something else that is important to do is get professional help when you need it! As was mentioned before, caregiving can be overwhelming, especially if your loved one is dealing with any type of injury or disease.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, it is best to reach out to some sort of home health provider to see how they can help your loved one and take some of the stress off your plate.
9. Take Care of Yourself
Finally, it is vital that you remember to take care of yourself as well. Spending all of your energy taking care of someone else can make you feel overwhelmed and burnt out. If you do not take time to care for yourself, you may find that you begin resenting your aging parents.
One way to prevent this is by doing something for yourself each day to help you deal with stress. Easy ways to do this are meditation, yoga, and other types of exercise.
Learn More About Caring For Aging Parents With Home Health Care
When you have an aging loved one, it can be difficult to know how to give them the proper care. By following each of these tips, you can help improve the quality of life for your senior parents while keeping them safe.
If you are feeling overwhelmed about being in charge of senior health care for your aging parents, there are people who can help you. Family Always First can help you!
We are a Medicaid-funded program that will allow your aging parents to hire their own loved ones as caregivers. Contact our team today to see if you are eligible for our program or to learn more about our services.