As your parents grow older, they may require more outside help to maintain their quality of life. Aside from government aid, seniors benefit from more day-to-day care from friends and family. This type of love and care can, not only help keep them company, but also retain better health as they age. Here are four ways to help your aging parents.
Arrange Transportation to Medical Appointments
Keeping doctor appointments is very important for seniors. Sometimes lack of transportation leads to missed medical visits, and this can interfere with proper medical care. If your parents are missing their scheduled appointments regularly they are probably missing out on a lot of great treatment options that could help make them feel much better. That is why it is essential to find a way to make sure that they never miss an appointment.
If you or another family member is unable to drive your senior parents to see their doctor, there are other options. Some agencies, such as Medicaid in some states, offer medical transport to non-emergency visits free of charge. You can also ask your local senior services agency for information about senior transport. Things like this are especially useful to look into if you don’t live close by your parents, but still want to help out.
Find Nursing Home Care
When your loved one is unable to get proper care in the home environment, it is time to look at good alternatives. Finding quality nursing home help for your elderly parent can really make a positive difference in their quality of life. The right kind of nursing home care ensures your parent has help with meals, medical needs, hygiene and emotional support in a safe and caring environment. That way you can sleep a little better at night knowing that your parent is being watched over and is in good hands.
Help them with Confusing or Lengthy Paperwork
Seniors who suffer from cognitive impairment or have vision difficulties or hand tremors often have difficulty understanding and filling out important forms. By helping your parent understand medical or legal paperwork, you can help give them peace of mind and ensure they don’t inadvertently sign away certain rights or fall prey to fraudsters.
Examples can include not only medical or insurance paperwork, but also forms such as advance directives, tax forms, and benefit forms. When necessary, look for advice from a professional, such as an attorney, senior advocate or accountant.
Help them with Good Nutrition
The elderly population is at a higher risk for poor nutrition than other age groups. This is because many seniors experience lack of appetite or have difficulty preparing food or even buying enough food. This causes a lack of good nutrition which can lead to a lot of other very serious health conditions.
There are several ways you can help your elderly parent get better nutrition. You can help them with shopping, you can prepare meals or hire someone else to prepare meals or you can set them up with a meal delivery program. Seniors who aren’t homebound can alternatively get meals or snacks at senior centers to help supplement their meal plan. By doing that you can know that they are getting a good amount of health food at every meal.
Whenever caring for a parent feels a bit overwhelming, make sure you seek outside help. There are many resources for the elderly population, but many simply aren’t aware of these resources. Check with your local senior centers and elder care programs for information about assistance.