Seeing your parents grow old can be difficult – you may see them become less independent and less able to achieve certain tasks. If you are worried about them, it is natural that you will want to do whatever you can to support them. There are a few things that you can and should do if this is the case.
This article will provide you with some help if you are thinking about how to help your parents when they get older so that they are receiving the care they need and deserve.
Consider Your Parents’ Needs
If you want to help your parents, think about exactly what they need help with. You may assume that because they are getting older, they will need additional support, although this is not always the case. There are many elderly individuals that continue to have fruitful and independent lives. The care that you put in place for your parents will very much depend on what they require, and it will vary from individual to individual – whilst some may benefit from full-time care, others may benefit from a professional to visit them occasionally to help them administer medication, for example.
Ask Them What They Want
There is little point in trying to make the decision on your own. If your parents have mental capacity, they should certainly be the ones making a decision about their future. Asking them specifically what they want and what support they require will make it easier for you to know exactly how you can help them. However, you must note that this can be a sensitive topic, as many individuals find it difficult to accept that they are growing older and may require some assistance as they become more reliable to loved ones and less independent. You should sit down and present your views so that they understand you, particularly if you have significant concerns in terms of how they are currently managing on their own.
Decide Whether Assisted Living is a Good Option
When older individuals require full-time support, it may be beneficial to consider assisted living such as a care home or a nursing home. Both of these provide different options to assist seniors and ensure that they live a better life. You research the differences between the two and which one would be more appropriate for your parents. Whilst a care home is more of a residential home, a nursing home normally has a qualified nurse on site that can administer appropriate medical care. If your parents have specific or complex medical needs, the latter option may be more suitable, whereas they may enjoy a residential home if they are simply looking to be around more people of the same age group.
Make Home Improvements
It may be that your parents are reluctant to leave their home, which may raise any concerns you have for them. In the first instance, it is recommended that you discuss your worries openly with them and explore different options. If they are still adamant that they want to remain at home rather than go into assisted living, for example, there are a few things you can do to ensure they will be okay. For instance, you can start by making appropriate improvements within their home so that they can become more independent. Fitting a stairlift, adding a bath lift, putting in a ramp outdoors, and increasing security measures are some of the things that can be done to improve their lifestyle whilst they remain independent.
Hire a Professional
You do not have to try and achieve everything yourself. It is understandable that you may have other commitments to tend to. Moreover, there will be things that you may not have the appropriate expertise to do. Hiring a professional in these cases is a good idea as you can rest assured your parents are being looked after. Once again, this will depend on the specific needs of your parents. They may need a healthcare professional or someone to complete some of the daily tasks they are no longer able to do, such as cooking and cleaning.
Make Yourself Available As Much as Possible
Parents often get distressed because they feel their children are ‘disposing’ of them, particularly if they go into assisted living. This can be a challenging transition for families, so you must maintain a good relationship with them and continue to show you care. Always make time to visit and maintain phone contact as much as possible. This will make a massive difference and will certainly help your parents accept the support as something they need rather than something you are doing for your own benefit.
If you are worried about your parents and want to help them, make sure to follow the tips discussed on this page. This will help you put the appropriate support in place for them whilst making them feel included in the process as they should.