The elderly are one of the most vulnerable populations in the world. They need more care than others, and while it can be difficult to balance work, family, and elderly parent responsibilities for a busy person like you, it’s important to make time for your parents. Here are some ways that you can take proper care of your elderly parents as a busy person:
1) Find Live-In Care Services In Your Area
With the increasing number of households that have both spouses working, there is a growing demand for elderly care services. If you are unable to take the time out of your busy schedule to care for your parents yourself, consider hiring live-in care providers in your area. If you’re from the UK, do a quick Google search for live-in services in Bristol, for example, and you’ll find a list of the agencies that can provide senior care. Call around and talk with several providers to find/compare rates and services offered before making your decision. These caregivers protect seniors’ rights where they feel the most comfortable: their own homes. Also, they will assist your parent(s) with day-to-day tasks so you don’t have to worry about taking care of your parents all on your own.
2) Make Your Parents’ Apartment Safer
Even if your parents are still living on their own, you may want to make their apartment safer for them. This will make it easier to have access to your parent(s) in case of an emergency, plus you can control what goes into their home so they are less likely to hurt themselves or others. To do this, check the flooring for any hazards that could cause your parents to fall, put grab bars inside the shower and near the toilet, eliminate tripping hazards in the home (like raised thresholds), and make sure there’s bright lighting throughout the house. Doing this can help prevent accidents from happening, which can save you a lot of stress and anxiety.
3) Arrange For Regular Visits
Set aside a certain day of the week to visit your elderly parent(s). You don’t have to stay for very long, but one or two hours will be enough time to give them the comfort and attention they need. During the visit, you can help them with daily tasks or provide company so they don’t feel isolated or lonely. You can also take this time to assess their living situation for safety concerns. Your parent(s) will appreciate the company, and it will help you keep tabs on their well-being.
4) Find Community Social Gatherings For Them
If your elderly parent(s) don’t have a lot of friends, encourage them to attend community social gatherings. This can be anything from a church dinner to a local senior center where they’re welcome to chat with other seniors and make new friends. It’s important that your parents have others besides you to talk to, as this will help fight loneliness and allow them to feel valued. There are many social opportunities for older adults, such as a local adult daycare where seniors can go to socialize or a senior citizen center in your neighborhood. Elderly care doesn’t have to be difficult if you find the right support system for them, so search around and see what’s available near you!
5) Find A Pet For Them
If your parent(s) are in good physical health, consider getting them a pet to keep them company. Pets are wonderful for elderly citizens because they act as companions (they provide unconditional love), they can assist with everyday tasks (they deliver items to their owners, like the mail or newspapers), and they remind seniors to take walks often (so they stay active). If you think your parent(s) would be more comfortable with a pet that doesn’t require as much maintenance, consider a fish instead of a dog or cat.
6) Take Care Of Their Medical Needs Regularly
Elderly care doesn’t mean simply making sure your parent(s) get the right amount of food and water (though this is important, too). Another part of elderly care is going to pharmacies for prescription refills, helping them decide which medications would be best for their ailments, and encouraging them to get checkups at their doctor’s office. These tasks may seem simple, but many seniors feel intimidated by the health care system and rely on their children to handle these responsibilities for them. If you cannot manage to do it by yourself, consider hiring a caregiver who can help you with these tasks.
7) Nursing Home Should Be Your Last Option
Your elderly parent(s) might eventually need to move into a nursing home. If this becomes necessary, look for one that offers short-term stays and frequent checkups so you can visit them more often. This will help your parents maintain their independence while still allowing you to assist them when they need it most. However, keep in mind that the elderly usually don’t like the idea of moving to a nursing home, so this might not be the best solution for them. Instead, they might prefer to stay in their own home with an aide coming by to provide assistance. Elderly care is hard work, but it doesn’t have to be impossible if you handle things gradually and remain patient with your elderly parents.
Elderly care is a difficult task that often falls on the children of elderly parents. Though it can be difficult to balance work, family, and elderly care responsibilities, it’s important to make time for your parents and do what you can to ensure they’re comfortable and safe. This article gave you a few tips for taking care of your elderly parents as a busy person. You should communicate closely with them, help them maintain their independence, ensure they’re in safe physical conditions, encourage them to attend community social gatherings often, find a pet for them that suits their needs, and take care of their medical needs with regularity. You might find live-in care services to be helpful and if there’s no other option, consider nursing homes that have short-term stays with frequent checkups. Overall, just remember that it’s important for your parents to remain independent while being supported by you when they need it most.