As children, we often take our parents for granted. We assume they will always be there for us and that we will always be able to take care of them. But eventually, our parents reach a point in their lives where they can no longer take care of themselves.
This can be a difficult time for everyone involved, but you can ensure your parents’ well-being and quality of life during their golden years with a little planning and organization.
So without further ado, here are eight tips to help you out:
1. Keep Your Parents Involved in Your Life
Reach out to them often and let them know what is going on with you and the family. Knowing they are still a part of their children’s lives will make them happy and give them a sense of purpose.
You can even include them in some simple activities, such as shopping or meeting for lunch!
2. Help Your Parents Get Rid of Clutter Around Their House
We have all heard that clearing out the clutter can reduce stress levels and improve focus, but it is especially important when caring for aging parents. A cluttered home makes it difficult to find things like medications or eyeglasses — making daily tasks frustrating.
Encourage your parents to start by sorting through their closets, then move on to the garage. Once they are used to sorting through their belongings, you can suggest they go through some of their paperwork.
3. Arrange For Transportation
The older your parents get, the more difficult it will be for them to drive. They might also become forgetful and not remember where they left their car keys or glasses!
It is great if your parent takes public transportation because it gives them a sense of independence and is often free with senior passes or coupons.
But you should still arrange for rides on days when public transit doesn’t operate (Sundays, holidays) or when snow makes driving dangerous.
4. Monitor Your Parents’ Health Care Providers
Unfortunately, elderly people sometimes experience medical neglect that results in serious injury or even death. Monitor what medical professionals your parents see and write down a summary of their medical history in case something goes wrong.
You should also know how to contact their doctor and what medical concerns they might have (diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.).
5. Make Sure Their Home is Safe for Aging Parents
Falls are a serious problem for seniors. That is why it is important to make sure your parents’ house is free of trip hazards and medical equipment that might be dangerous if they fell down.
It is also a good idea to repair loose rugs, secure area rugs with proper fasteners, and fix squeaky doors or floorboards.
6. Sign Them Up For a Senior Center
It is nice if your parents can get to medical appointments and social activities themselves, but sometimes they need a little extra help.
Both medical and non-medical services are available depending on their individual needs. A medical home health care service can help monitor their medical conditions and provide medication reminders.
A non-medical service, such as Meals on Wheels or a senior center, can help your parents get out of the house and socialize with other seniors. They might even learn a skill they never thought about using.
7. Assist With Financial Concerns
Many adult children start this process by helping their parents set up a bank account to make bill paying easier. This is especially important if your parent has been managing money on their own for years.
You should also check in from time to time regarding billing disputes and review insurance claims for accuracy. If you see something suspicious, ask questions until you understand what happened.
8. Lose the Guilt
It might be tempting to ignore the problems your aging parents are facing.
After all, we are used to thinking of them as reliable and capable adults. But when they start requiring regular assistance with daily activities, it is time for a change.
You should never feel guilty about helping your parents and making their lives easier. They would do anything for you, and it is our duty to return the favor! You will never feel guilty about helping your parents and making their lives easier. They would do anything for you, so it is our duty to return the favor!
With these eight tips on how to take care of an aging parent’s well-being, you can ensure that they are living comfortably in their own home as long as possible.