HealthSenior Lifestyle

Caring For Aging Parents (Quickstart Guide)

Written by Dayna C
Last Updated :
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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 should necessarily suffer because of the other.

You will always care about your loved ones, no matter how busy you are.

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?

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  • Eating habits disorder,
  • Forgetfulness,
  • Poor hygiene,
  • Loss of mobility or partial mobility,
  • Neglecting home.

If one or both of your parents show any of the signs above, they may 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 the love and support they gave you unconditionally.

The psychology of an aging parent

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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 time at home.

Additionally, if an aging person has mobility issues, it may trigger psychological challenges.

Decreased independence is seriously at the top of the list of things that bother seniors the most.

Some of them have difficulties walking, bathing, maintaining hygiene, or using a toilet alone.

Watching their friends pass away is not easy for them either.

For seniors living alone the chances of making new friends may decrease and combined with losing loved ones tends to make them stay at home most of the time.

On the other hand, if you use the services of a caregiver, how can you be sure your parents will be happy with the person?

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 to play lottery or sweepstakes, right?

Being alone and bored makes them turn to this kind of entertainment.

As these games can be addictive, your aging parent can easily put themselves in a situation where they can be deceived or tricked.

One thing is sure – aging people are vulnerable, and need their children to help them cope with their lives as they age.

Your actions matter 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

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  1. Reach out to your parents regularly

Technology makes everything so much easier.

Not only can you hear your parents, but you can also see them 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 will know you are always thinking about them.

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, it is even more important 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, and it means the world to your parent.

Some older people find it hard to learn how to use modern technology, yet, knowing the most significant benefit of using it (getting in touch with you) will keep them interested.

Be patient and teach them the basics of modern technology.

This may prompt their interest in YouTube videos, playing games, or chatting with the rest of the family.

  1. Visit more frequently
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Despite the advancement of modern technology, it is always a better option to visit your parents if you live nearby.

Nothing is a substitute for a warm hug and a kiss, so if you can, don’t avoid visiting your parents.

Also, the in-person visit will also give you the chance to check on their physical condition.

You already know how caring your parents are and usually, they don’t want us to worry about them, even though they may not be 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 once a month and check them on face-to-face calling technology (Zoom or Google Meet) to see them through the camera.

The friendly face of your parents will undoubtedly make your day, and it will mean the world to them to see you.

  1. Spend some time out of the house
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As we have mentioned, elderly people may not like to go out as much as they used to.

One of the reasons is they feel less independent and are afraid of falling.

Whether 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 – go for it.

 

  1. Engage your parents in your everyday activities
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You have a hectic schedule – go to work, pick up the kids, buy groceries, pay bills.

However, engaging your parents in some of these activities would be a great idea.

For example, take them to your office.

Of course, your company would have nothing against this on the odd occasion and you parents would be so happy to see where you work.

This way, you can show them you care for them despite your busy life.

  1. Leave sticky notes

If you have noticed your parents starting to forget things, or you know for sure one of them has dementia, a great tip is to leave them important messages on sticky notes.

You wouldn’t be able to call them all day or visit when you have other things to do.

Yet, a sticky note would be a great reminder for taking a pill or turning on their favorite TV show.

  1. Hire a caregiver
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This might be the last option on your list but don’t discount it if you know you might need additional help with your aging parents.

A caregiver will not only take care of their health but also make their days livelier.

As we have already mentioned, you are irreplaceable, and a caregiver won’t play the role of the children or friends.

A caregiver will help you with most of the tasks, but the most important one is for you to show them love, patience, understanding, and thankfulness for everything they have given you.

  1. Don’t push yourself too hard

You may be aware this might be the highest calling in your life.

Your priority is to make your aging parents as happy and cared for as possible.

Parents are never selfish, they have endless understanding for their children.

Some people who are family caregivers can let the daily pressures of their lives get the better of them through this period.

All the expenses, lack of time, and stress at work can cause ill will, and this can reflect on your aging parents, which is something you definitely want to avoid.

Don’t put so much pressure on yourself and try to find some “me time”.

Your parents wouldn’t mind that at all – they will be glad to see you happy!

Check: 10 Fun and Easy Activities for Alzheimer’s

Conclusion

It is time for you to provide the support to your parents like they’ve given throughout your life.

According to our guide, caring for an aging parent can establish an even stronger sense of love between you all and bring compassion and tenderness to a higher level.

Caring for aging parents doesn’t have to bring tension and can be very rewarding.

Even if you live far away from each other, you can easily come up with a care plan that will involve you all.

Being a caregiver is a complex task and for some people, it carries only frustration and exhaustion, while others enjoy every second of it – it all depends on how approach it.

About Author

Dayna C
Dayna has an incredible passion for helping others and a background as an in-home caregiver for the elderly. She left the field temporarily three years ago to stay at home with her twins, but found that she really missed working with senior citizens. She launched LoAids as a way to help not just her own loved ones and former clients, but ALL seniors live life to the fullest in their golden years.  Follow her on LINKEDIN and TWITTER. Read her LATEST POSTS. Learn more about her HERE.

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