26% of caregivers say their biggest concern is making the best decisions for their loved ones. We know just how difficult this is, especially if you’re an adult child caring for your aging parent or parents.
As much as you want your parents to be the same happy person you know and love, their health and mobility may change over time. It can be difficult to know how to help without taking away their independence or sense of autonomy.
While it’s normal for family members, including adult children, to worry about their elderly parent’s safety or security, there are lots of practical steps you can take to provide care while also giving your mom or dad the chance to enjoy life as they did before.
In this quick guide, we’ll discuss some strategies that you might consider when figuring out how best to support and help your aging parents.
When to Help Your Parents
We all want our parents to age gracefully and independently. However, the signs are not always obvious that they need help. How do you know when it’s time to step in and start taking on the role of a caregiver? It may be time to help if your parents are having difficulty taking care of their daily needs, such as house cleaning, meals, or help with finances.
Another tell-tale sign is when they start forgetting appointments or missing important deadlines like paying bills on time. If you notice any of these signs in your aging parent’s life, then consider different ways you can help them out.
It’s important to understand that this doesn’t mean it’s time to consider senior living options, but these small acts of service can make life easier for them. Little things like grocery shopping, running errands, or helping around the house can often help give your parent independence while easing some of their daily burdens.
As you begin to help them with daily tasks, you’ll be able to better assess their physical and mental health. From there, you can make more informed decisions about the kind of help with daily living activities they might need.
5 Ways to Help Aging Parents
As children, we may not fully realize how important it is to help our aging parents as they begin to struggle with everyday tasks that may have once seemed routine. As their caretaker, it’s important to pay close attention to any signs that they could use help.
As mentioned above, this could be a change in overall behavior and mood, difficulty maintaining the home and yard, decreased involvement in activities they once enjoyed, or a lack of access to and understanding of technology. Regardless of their struggles, here are five simple ways to help your aging parents.
1. Get Your Parents’ Perspective
Before deciding to pursue assisted living facilities or another type of senior care, take the time to get your parents’ views on the matter and get an understanding of why they may be struggling. While it can be overwhelming and emotional, it is important to work towards finding solutions together as a family.
Listening to their concerns and beliefs will go a long way in cultivating empathy and respect, especially during this difficult transition. Additionally, in some cases, you might find that the issues you thought were concerning were due to something as simple as a lack of sleep.
2. Consider Their Safety
Even if your parents don’t need to start living in a senior living community, it’s still important to start taking steps to ensure their safety at home. From installing hand railings and grab bars around the house, to investing in smoke detectors and an alarm system, there are many steps you can take to help ensure your parents are safe.
Moreover, make them aware of any potential safety issues that could arise within their home. Often, the elderly forget about simple things like cords laying around or rugs not being secure, for example.
3. Consider Your Mental Health
Caring for an aging parent is no easy feat. It’s emotionally taxing and can be very stressful. Simply put, you cannot provide quality care to those you love if you don’t take the time to consider your needs first.
Your aging parents deserve only our best, so it’s important that you practice good self-care habits like:
- Taking breaks
- Seeking professional help when necessary
- Connecting with family and friends
- Making time for hobbies
Self-care ensures that both parents and caregivers have what they need (physical and emotional attention) to make the care journey a little smoother.
4. Increase Communication
This transition can be difficult for both of you, but open lines of communication can help make the situation easier. It’s important to discuss expectations and wishes, whether it’s with your parents or other family members who may also be involved in caretaking. Solicit input from all parties about the responsibilities that will be needed and ensure everyone’s needs are being met adequately.
Keeping open lines of communication throughout this process can open up much-needed dialog, which will help reduce arguments and give clarity to an otherwise unclear situation.
6. Explore Aging Care Options
Everybody’s needs are different. However, many families find that aging care options help everybody in the family live well. Plus, seeking out aging care options doesn’t have to mean giving up independence or personal care.
From independent living to assisted living, these options can help foster independence. They’re also great for providing daily assistance with any possible limitations that may impact daily activities.
Find an Assisted Living Community
We’re here to help make caring for aging parents as easy as possible. It’s why we offer a range of services to help cater to you and your family’s needs. From assisted living to memory care and skilled nursing, we offer several options that are sure to fit your parents’ needs.
If you’re ready to explore those options, get in touch with Dimensions Living today or start your search now. Click here to find an assisted living community in Wisconsin or Illinois.