How to Care For Your Aging Parents

How to Care For Your Aging Parents

If you have a hectic routine and are already trying to balance your lifestyle with work, you might struggle to fit in quality time with the special people in your life. However busy your schedule gets, always give some thought to your parents. As time goes on, you may find that your parents depend on you more and more and that role of caregiver reverses. It is natural to want to help your parents as they get older, and it is a great way to repay them for all the years they spent devoted to you. Here are a few top tips for you to help care for your parents and improve their quality of life.

Keep Communication Channels Open

Getting older can be lonely, especially if your life companion and close friends have already passed on. If your parents live on their own, make sure you keep communication channels open so that they can always speak to you should they feel alone. According to the Health Resources & Services Administration, loneliness can be as harmful as smoking 15 cigarettes in a day, and it can have life-threatening consequences. Don’t let it get to that point with your parents. Visit your parents as often as you can and schedule a call at least once a day to have a meaningful conversation with them. Not only can this help boost your parent’s quality of life, but it will also give them the chance to let you know if there is something they need help with. With a busy routine and constant social interaction, a simple phone call may seem like nothing to you, but to an older person, it can truly make their day and give them something to look forward to.

Pet Companion

If your parents have the means to look after an animal and are keen on the idea, keeping a pet is also a great way to ward off loneliness. Pet companionship can provide physical and social benefits for senior citizens. They offer unconditional love, affection and they can help older people cope with the loss of loved ones. Not to mention, owning a pet that needs regular exercise can increase your parents’ fitness levels and encourage them to go outside every day. Staying physically active can help reduce the risk of health conditions, such as blood pressure, and increase their opportunity to meet new people.

Future Living Choices

It can be awkward discussing the future with your parents, as it brings up sensitive topics such as where they are going to live when they become less independent and how they are going to afford it. However, talking about living options with them, while they are sound of mind and able to make decisions, can be incredibly empowering for them. It will also ensure their wishes are met when it comes to healthcare and lifestyle. Belmont Village provides different types of senior care in Sunnyvale. Their facilities are excellent for older people with memory disorders, and they have an award-winning Circle of Friends program for Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). In addition, their community facilitates couples who have different care needs but wish to live together, making it a great way for loved ones to grow old together in the same place.

Help Them Move

Senior care may still be a long way in the future, but if your parents are ready now, you can help them transition into their new home smoothly. Help them sort through their belongings and pack up their old home. You can also arrange transport to their new place, or chauffeur them there yourself. They will probably appreciate every bit of help they can get, and your actions will show them how much you care.

Keep Them Safe at Home

If your parents are still fairly autonomous and have made the decision to live at home, help them stay safe by safeguarding their home. As people age, their mobility and cognitive skills deteriorate, which makes them prone to more accidents. In the United States, the leading cause of injury in senior citizens is trips and falls. Don’t let your parents become a statistic. Make sure you check their home regularly for trip hazards. Swap out dim light bulbs for brighter ones, keep steps and walkways clear and check for loose carpet. These small checks can help prevent your parents from hurting themselves at home.

Regular Health Checks

As people get older, they should go for an annual health check to make sure everything is in good condition. However, many older people forget to schedule an appointment or don’t want to be a bother. Unfortunately, illnesses and conditions could crop up without any symptoms. A physician can spot changes in health and treat them before they become more serious. Stress the importance of an annual check and try to encourage your parents to visit the doctor. This is especially important if your loved one is actually unwell or experiencing discomfort in any way. Their doctor can diagnose the issue, provide advice and prescribe the best treatment or medication to treat the issue.

Eye Health

Healthy eyes are just as important as a healthy body. Not only can optometrists treat existing issues, they can also identify problems before symptoms occur. An annual eye examination can help your parents maintain good vision, and in turn, this can reduce their risk of trips and falls.

Give Them Encouragement

When you look back at your childhood, you can probably remember certain moments where your parents gave you the encouragement you needed to go on. Whether it was your first day at school, applying for colleges, or narrowing down your career, parents were there to support you. Now that you are older, you can finally pay back the favor. If your parents have a bucket list of things they have always wanted to do, give them the encouragement to do it. Whether it’s learning a new language or climbing a formidable mountain, make helpful suggestions that will help them achieve their goals.