Elderly parents may need a little help in order to remain healthy and to stay safe, but working out exactly what their needs are can be tricky and may leave you feeling overwhelmed. It is with this in mind that we have put together some handy tips and advice for those who are considering the importance of giving back to their parents.
Assessment of Your Elderly Parents Needs
Working out just what help and support your parents require is the first step. There are several factors to consider including; safety in the home, eating and drinking, medical care, mobility and their social interactions.
Use these categories as a starting point and make a list of any concerns you have that relate to each and then you can begin to plan how you and others can help.
Discuss Your Role
It is important that you include your parents in the planning from the very start. Failing to do so can lead to problems, as your parents may feel you are trying to take over their lives or that the help is unwanted.
Start with an informal conversation that touches on the main causes of concern and see how it goes from there. Try not to over commit yourself and consider aspects such as cost, time and logistics.
Safety in the Home
As far as safety in the home goes, elderly parents need to be able to navigate the property without risk. If they cannot then simple actions can be taken, such as installing hand rails in bathrooms. At the other end of the scale stair lifts may be a possible solution or even moving to a more appropriate home, like a bungalow.
Eating and Drinking
A healthy diet is increasingly important as we get older. Making sure elderly parents have what they need in the cupboards and in the fridge is a great place to start – maybe take them shopping once a week.
Other options include regularly taking them out for a meal or having meals pre-prepared that they can simply heat and eat – plus, if your parents are homebound, then they may qualify for meals on wheels.
Should your parents be finding it hard to get around there are now a range of mobility solutions that may help. These could prove to be invaluable as someone who is mobile remains more independent and for longer. Visiting the family doctor or just popping to the corner shop, on your own, helps with self-esteem and confidence.
Another good way of bolstering self-esteem and confidence is by remaining socially active. The cliché is a trip to the bingo, but whatever it is, getting out and about is good for the soul and so should be pursued.
Giving back to your parents in a measured and amicable way is a pleasure and one that keeps giving – so the sooner you start, the better.
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