Watching a parent grow old is tough to say the least. For most of your life, they were one of the few people you always, always felt you could turn to for help when things got bad. When their physical and mental abilities start to wane little by little, it’s obviously not the most pleasant thing to witness. While watching one or both of your parents move into old age is hard, it’s a fact of life, and marks a time when we need to start paying them back for all their great work! Here are a few ways you can help your parent to live independently in their old age.
Image: Free Stock Photos
Getting the Essentials to Them
A healthy diet, as well as access to various essentials, is essential to anyone’s physical and emotional wellbeing, no matter how old they are. Because driving can be a very strenuous activity for someone in old age, it may be a good idea to organize food and medicine deliveries right to your parent’s door. If your parent is tech-savvy enough, consider introducing them to an online grocery shopping service, or coming up with a system where they give you a shopping list and you take care of it for them. Medicine deliveries can be a little harder to organize, but certainly not impossible.
Preparing the Home
When you find yourself having to care for an aging parent, one of the most challenging things is knowing how to prepare the home for them in the best way possible. After all, the home should be a safe haven for them where they can feel relaxed and live with relative ease and convenience. Every residence is different, so a good first step will be paying your parent a visit and having a look around their place. Put yourself in their shoes, and look for any potential hazards or difficulties they might encounter. The key places to check out here are the bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. Changes might include installing rails so that there’s less risk of your parent falling, lowering shelves that could be hard to reach, and installing better lighting. If you want to go all-out, it may be worth looking into the young niche of smart home technology. If you weren’t already aware, smart home tech can allow an infirm (or simply lazy, if you’re interested!) person to control their lights, appliances, heating and media from a single interface on their smartphone or tablet. You can even get added security features. Check out these Alarm Reviews doorbell cameras, for example.
Maintaining Their Health
You may have gone looking for this post in the first place because your parent has had a bout of illness which has now made day-to-day life a challenge. Obviously, this is something that needs to be considered for the future. A lot of hospital discharge regimens will require a schedule of daily medicine taking, the checking of blood sugar levels, and so on. This can seem pretty trivial when there’s a medical professional around to remind you of it, but keeping on top of these things can be an extremely important part of keeping an elderly person healthy and independent for as long as possible. Make sure you can stay in contact with their doctor, nurse, pharmacist or so on at all times to discuss healthcare, new developments in their condition and so on. You can also help things along by encouraging your parent to be more proactive with maintaining their health. Obviously, the exact healthcare needs are going to vary greatly from person to person, and you may need to apply different methods for keeping on top of different medicine cycles, checks etc. the most important thing is to stay organized!
Yes, being the adult offspring of an elderly person is emotionally strenuous, but being an elderly person yourself is no walk in the park either! Aside from the more practical steps of getting the home suitable and delivering food, it’s also very important to take care of your parent’s emotional wellbeing. A lot of elderly people will hate the fact that they’re getting old, and will be reluctant or even resentful when accepting help from someone whose diapers they used to change! The most important thing here is to make sure you’re taking things slow, and not overstepping your mark. Unless it would put your parent in serious danger, let them maintain control over as much as possible. When changes do start happening, make sure you’re being more helpful than patronizing!