Eight Ways to Help Your Aging Parents

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On August 9, 2013, Posted by , In Home Care, By ,,, , With Comments Off on Eight Ways to Help Your Aging Parents

 

As they age, our parents might need more help. But you might not know exactly how to lend a hand or even where to start. Plus, what do you do if your parents balk at your attempts to assist them?

While every situation is unique, here are some suggestions for helping aging parents:

1. Empathize with your parents.

Sometimes you might be taken aback by your parents’ frustration, moody behavior or neediness. In fact, on some days, they might be downright unpleasant to be around. But it’s important to be empathetic and understand where they’re coming from. Aging is a series of losses — loss of employment, health and energy, friends, mobility, and independence.” Consider how you’d feel if you were in their situation.

2. Call them regularly.

Set a reminder on your phone to check in with your parents and see how they’re doing.

3. Get other family involved.

When helping your parents, don’t take on all the responsibility yourself, unless you have to, It may be helpful to email updates to each other any time a sibling visits their parents. This not only provides information on their parents’ health and current situation, but it also makes it easier to coordinate visits and share responsibilities, she said.

4. Seek out potential problems.

Walk around your parents’ home, and scrutinize the surroundings for any necessary repairs or changes. For instance, look out for uneven flooring, handrails and well-lit hallways and stairs, she said. Also, check if essential items are within reach and emergency contact information is next to the phone.

5. Advocate for them.

If your parent has an illness, make sure both of you have a good grasp of what that means and what treatment entails. For instance, know the medications they’re taking and when they’re supposed to be taken. If you’re accompanying them to appointments, ask questions, and take notes, she said.

6. Encourage them to be active.

Many aging parents tend to be isolated, because they stop driving, get tired easily or have hearing or vision loss.

Physical activity is key for improving mood, endurance, balance and strength and delaying cognitive decline, she said. For instance, aging parents can walk, or participate in exercise programs for seniors.

7. Help them downsize without being bossy.

When helping your parents downsize, don’t tell them what they should and shouldn’t keep or toss anything unless you have their permission. Realize that your parents have many memories and treasure things that remind them of relatives and happy events — these are specific to the individual and just because you don’t see the value in certain items, doesn’t mean your parent shares your view.

8. Help them create a memory book.

It’s common for seniors to experience short-term memory problems. Reminiscing might help. Try creating a scrapbook for your parents, filled with photos and names of the people, places and pets from their past. If you have time, work on the scrapbook together.

Source:  www.psychcentral.com

Contact Pure Home Care Services at (586) 293-2457 today!  If you live in Macomb County or the surrounding area, we can help you care for your loved ones.

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