Caring for an elderly parent can be a significant challenge. But it’s something that a lot of us are going to have to come to terms with in the future. The unfortunate reality is that there’s a growing elderly population who won’t be able to look after themselves without the right support. This could be either personal or financial. That’s why it’s important to understand the different challenges that you need to be aware of.
Choosing Where To Live
First, you need to make sure that you are choosing the right living option for your elderly parent. There are a few options that are worth exploring that could be suitable for your loved one’s needs and your lifestyle.
First, you might want to think about letting elderly parents live at your house. This could be a useful option if you feel as though they can not live by themselves safely. However, it is always important to be aware of the pressure that this is going to put on your life. For instance, you may need to make sure that someone is always around and in the house with them. You could even need to change your house to ensure that it is a safe environment. Challenges like this must be considered before you relocate them to your house.
If your elderly loved one is comfortable living individually, then they might be able to comfortably remain in their own house. However, that will always depend on whether they are struggling with any mental health issues such as dementia. If your loved one has dementia, then it is always going to be more of a challenge for them to live at home without support. This brings us neatly to the next option.
Next, you should make sure that you are exploring home care as an option. The benefit of home care is that people can continue to live comfortably in their own homes while gaining the full support that they require. This could mean round-the-clock care or an individual checking in on them throughout the day.
Another option is a care facility. The benefit of a care facility is that these environments are specifically designed for individuals who are of a certain age and struggling with health and wellness issues. This could include anything from dementia to physical conditions which result in chronic pain. You just need to make sure that you are exploring a few different care facilities before settling on the right one for your child.
Managing Their Health
Next, you need to make sure that you are effectively managing the health of your loved one. It’s entirely possible that once they reach a certain age, your elderly parents start to have multiple challenges with both their mental and their physical health.
First, you need to make sure that you are helping your elderly loved one manage their meds effectively. Your loved one may be on a large number of different meds and this can be confusing which might also lead to dangerous situations if they take the wrong ones. To deal with this, you should make sure that you are finding a way to guarantee that their meds don’t get confused.
For instance, you might want to think about investing in a medication bubble pack. The benefit of an option like this is that it makes it easy to keep all the different meds separate and ensure that your elderly loved one is always keeping track of what they need to take. Be aware for advanced medicinal needs, you may need to explore specialist support for your loved one and ensure that they are always getting the right treatment that they need each and every day.
Next, you should make sure that you are exploring options such as specialist support. Again, if your loved one has significant medical needs, then specialist support could be the best possible option for them. With specialist support, you can guarantee that your loved one can gain the right support with any medical issue that they are experiencing. For instance, you might want to think about exploring an option like a nurse who can handle medications for you. This could be useful if you are worried about getting the injection right. It can be quite tricky, particularly if you don’t have experience in this area.
Another option worth considering is checkups. Do be aware that elderly individuals are more likely to experience issues with both their physical and mental health. As such, it’s important to get them checked out regularly as this can often lead to a more beneficial prognosis. For instance, you might want to think about getting them checked over for any signs of cancer. Cancer is more common than ever before but a lot of the types can be treated and managed effectively if they are caught early. As such, your loved one should be visiting and speaking to a doctor at least once per year.
Recognizing The Signs
Next, you should ensure that you can recognise the signs that something might be wrong. A key example of this would be dementia and there are a few signs that things could be going wrong here. For instance, one of the most common signs of dementia is memory issues. This can take the form of living more in the past to having problems with confusion. It can even cause changes to their mood and make them significantly more aggressive when confronted with situations that they are unfamiliar with.
Keeping Them Active
Next, you should make sure that you are helping your loved one remain active. Research shows that activity is key for mental and physical health. If you are not staying active, then you are always going to struggle to keep your health where you need it to be. Elderly individuals do need to be careful when staying active. However, they can explore low-impact forms of exercise that are not going to result in a serious injury such as a broken ankle. For instance, you might want to encourage your loved one to explore an option like yoga.
Keeping Them Socialised
Finally, you should always think about making sure that you are helping your elderly parents to socialize. Research is clear, socialisation is key to great mental health. If you don’t socialize effectively, then you could struggle with everything from anxiety to depression. Older individuals are even more likely to experience issues like this.
You could also think about booking your love into some social clubs. There is sure to be a social club suitable for their specific interests. As such, it’s just a matter of finding the right option for their needs. That could include physical social activities or something that stimulates the mind’s muscles such as chess.
Next, you should ensure that you are making regular visits to your parent’s home. This is a great choice as it means that they will feel more connected to your family and more involved in your life. Whether or not you have grandchildren or your own family, we guarantee that your elderly parents will still want to see you as often as possible. It’s important to make sure that these visits are about catching up and don’t feel like a chore or something that you are required to do.
You could also think about using technology to keep your elderly parent socialized. For instance, you might want to buy them a video call smart device. There are lots of these available on the market and some of them allow you to immediately check in and say hello without an elderly individual needing to answer the phone. This can help them feel more connected to your life which is always going to be perfect if they do live quite far away or if they are in a more remote location.
Finally, you could think about planning holidays for your elderly loved one. This is a great way to help them socialize while also ensuring that they get the absolute best quality of life possible. There are lots of places that people can go on holiday which is absolutely perfect for elderly individuals. For instance, you might want to think about booking your elderly parents on a cruise. The big benefit of a cruise is that they can relax and unwind, with everything taken care of them, while seeing new places. This makes it the perfect possibility.
We hope this helps you understand some of the key steps that you need to take if you are caring for an elderly parent and the challenges that you are likely to face. Remember, it’s important to always choose the right support if your elderly loved one needs professional help. If you don’t make the right decision, then you are going to have difficulty ensuring that they have the best quality of life imaginable.