Caring for aging parents is the most wonderful and the most stressful job you will ever have. We all somehow avoid thinking about the fact our parents are growing older and weaker every day. However, there will come a moment when you will have to find the strength to handle the welfare of your parents.
We live in a busy world and so many expectations lurk upon us. Trying to be productive at work and being the best possible caregiver for your aging parent is certainly a challenge. Yet, it doesn’t mean one would necessarily suffer because of the another.
No matter how busy you are, you will always care about your beloved ones. Hiring a professional caregiver is totally fine, but you would still want to visit and spend time with your parents. Nothing can compare to the connection parents and their children have.
Today we are talking about ways to provide the best possible care for your aging parents.
How do you know your parents have aged?
- Eating habits disorder,
- Poor hygiene,
- Loss of mobility or partial mobility,
- Neglecting home.
If one or both of your parents show any of the signs above, that means they entered the aging process. Caring for aging parents will take some time and patience, but if you are doing that the right way – you will enjoy your days and be glad to have the chance to show them love and support they gave to you unconditionally.
The psychology of an aging parent
Can you put yourself in the position of your aging parents? Aged people usually feel lonely on a daily basis because they spend most of their times at home. Additionally, in case an aging person has a mobility issue as well, that might trigger off bigger psychological consequences.
Decreased independency is seriously on the top of the list of things that bother seniors the most. Some of them have difficulties while walking, taking a bath, maintaining hygiene, or using a toilet by themselves.
Watching their friends pass away is not as easy to them either. Decreasing the chances of making new friends and losing lost ones tend to make them stay at home most of the time.
On the other side, if you use the services of a caregiver, how can you be sure your parents will be happy with the person? It happens that some caregivers simply don’t achieve any deeper connection with aging or a person in need than the cleanliness of the house.
The presence of a caregiver with your aging parents will never replace your place in their hearts. That is why caring for aging parents should be a priority for you.
You don’t want your parent turn to play lottery or sweepstakes, right? Being alone and bored makes them turn to this kind of entertainment. As these games are addictive, your aging parent can easily put himself/herself in a situation of being deceived or tricked.
One thing is sure – aging people are in vulnerable positions, and they need their children to help them cope with their lives the way they are now. Your actions matter to most to your parents, so here is what you can do to ensure they get the care they deserve.
Covering the aspects of caring for aging parents
- Reach out to your parents on a regular basis
Technology makes everything so much easier. Not only that you can hear your parents, but see them as well through a video call. If you live in a different city or you go on a trip, nothing is holding you back from maintaining frequent contact with your parents.
This will make them feel better, as they would know you are thinking about them all the time. Despite a busy schedule, you can always find some time for a call. Your parents would love to hear your voice even for a minute, so try to organize yourself.
If one of your parents passed away, that is an additional reason to call more often. Losing a significant other is one of the most common reasons for depression among the elderly. A short call doesn’t take a lot of your time, while it means the world to your parent.
Some older people find it hard to learn how to use modern technology. Yet, knowing the greatest benefit of using it (getting in touch with you) will certainly make them interested. Be patient and teach them the basics of modern technology. This will possibly wake up their interest in YouTube videos, playing games, or chatting with the rest of the family.
- Visit more frequently
Despite the advancement of modern technology, it would always be a better option to go and visit your parents if you live nearby. Nothing can substitute a warm hug and a kiss, so if you have the chance, don’t avoid visiting your parents.
What is more, the in-person meeting will also give you the chance to check on their actual physical condition. You already know how caring our parents are. They don’t want us to worry about them, even though they are not feeling well. That is why you should visit as often as you can.
If you live in another city, schedule your visits for at least one per month and check them on Skype or any other application to see them through the camera. A good-know, friendly face of your parents will certainly make your day, while it will mean the world to them to see you.
- Spend some time out of the house
As we already mentioned, elderly people don’t like to go out as much as they used to before. One of the reasons is they feel less independent and are afraid of falling down. No matter if you live with them or not, make some time to go out with your parents and spend some quality time.
Go to a concert, to a cinema, go shopping, go for a walk – whatever makes your parents happy (they will be happy either way, as the most important thing for them is to spend time together). Some older people love local festivals, so if this weekend is free – don’t miss this.
- Engage your parents in your everyday activities
You have a hectic schedule – go to work, pick up the kids, buy groceries, pay bills. However, it would be a great idea to engage your parents in some of these activities.
For example, take them to your office. Of course, your company would have nothing against for a couple of times, but don’t do this too often either. Your aging parents would be so happy to go and see where you work. This way you will show them you care for them despite the mess in your life.
- Leave sticky notes
If you have noticed your parents started forgetting about things, or you know for sure one of them has dementia, it would be nice of you to leave them important messages on sticky notes. You wouldn’t be able to call them all day or visit when you have some other things to do. Yet, a sticky note would be a great reminder for taking a pill or turning their favorite TV show on.
- Hire a caregiver
This might be the last option on your list, but don’t run away from it if you know you might need additional help with your aging parents. A caregiver will take care of their health in the first place, but also make their days livelier.
As we already mentioned, you are irreplaceable, and a caregiver won’t play the role of the children or aging parents. A caregiver will help you with most of the tasks, but the most important is still upon you – to show them love, patience, understanding, and thankfulness for everything they have give you.
- Don’t push yourself too hard
You are well aware this might be the highest calling on your life. It is your priority to make your aging parents as happy and cared about as possible. However, they want you to be well in the first place. Parents are never selfish, they have endless understanding for us.
Some people who are family caregivers let the loads of things they are going through this period crash on them. All the expenses, lack of time, stress at work – all this can cause ill will. This will reflect on your aging parents, which is definitely you want to avoid. Don’t put so much pressure on you and try to find some time for yourself. Your parent wouldn’t mind that at all – they will be glad to see you happy!
It is the time for you to provide the support to your parents they used to give you in your younger days. Caring for an aging parent according to our guide will establish an even stronger sense of love between you all and bring the compassion and tenderness to another level.
Caring for aging parents doesn’t have to bring the tension at all. Even if you live far away from each other, you can easily devise a care plan that will involve you all in it. Being a caregiver is a complex question. For some people, it carries only frustration and exhaustion, while others enjoy every second of it – it all depends on how you take it.