It can be difficult seeing your parents age, but providing they get the right help there’s no reason why the winter of their life can’t be as happy and fulfilling as the rest. Here are some of the ways you can support your parents as they age, and be there for them just like they have been for you throughout your life.
Choose The Right Level of Care
Your parents might choose to stay in their own home, or they may move to more suitable adapted housing if they are still fairly independent. For those with more complex needs, you may have to consider into moving them into your home with you. If they need full-time support you can look into senior in-home care services to get a carer to assist you, which is useful if you’re not able to cope with their care needs alone. Alternatively, you may make the decision to move them to a nursing home, it can be a tough call but at least you know they will have all of their care needs covered.
Offer Practical and Financial Help
If you are in a position to offer practical and financial help, this could make their lives easier in a number of ways, especially for elderly people living on a state pension. You could offer to do their shopping, pick up medication for them, or walk their dog. Financially you could help them with bills, shopping, or offer to cover care for someone else to come in and help them when you are unable to.
Offer Them Your Time
Regular visits from you and the rest of your family are bound to be appreciated, this is especially important if one of your parents lives alone or if they are housebound. Spend time with them, show and interest and get the family involved. You could cook a family meal every Sunday or pop in for a cup of tea and a chat, or play a game with them a few times a week. Small acts of kindness and being generous with your time will ensure that your elderly loved one doesn’t get lonely or feel forgotten.
Encourage Them To Be Social
If your elderly loved one lives in a nursing home or part of a complex with other elderly folk, encourage them to go out and speak to others. These kinds of friendships will give them a sense of belonging within their community, and staying social and interacting has been shown to be highly beneficial for elderly people. Even playing a simple game of cards or doing a crossword puzzle together offers excellent mental stimulation, which is said to reduce the likelihood of age-related mental health problems. You could also encourage them to be social by setting them up with an easy-to-use phone or even a Skype account on a tablet or laptop and teaching them how to use it. That way they’re able to easily call for a chat if they feel lonely or ask for help.
Are you currently caring for an elderly loved one? What advice would you give to others?