Old age is a tricky time, and aged parents need extra care from their progeny to happily sail the old-age related difficulties. Although senior care communities are an option, most seniors like to stay where they have spent their lives.
Taking care of older adults who are suffering from physiological and psychological problems is a challenging task. It requires learning about your parents, planning for their regular life, and being empathetic towards them. Here, we discuss three expert tips to look after your aging parents at home.
1. Take Stock Of Your Parents’ Condition Personally
It is easy to have a phone call with your parents to know how they are doing. But at times, you need to get close to assess their health condition properly. Sometimes, seniors feel hesitant in expressing their issues. You may get to know about a physical disturbance your parents are going through only after it reaches a critical state. Older adults can suppress facts due to inferiority complex, embarrassment, depression, or fear of bothering others.
Firstly, you need to be aware of the signs that suggest your parents need help. When seniors are not physically and mentally at their best, they may become forgetful, turn inactive, skip medications, or become disinterested in people and things surrounding them. A change in their mood is also a tell-tale sign that your parents need care.
In such circumstances, scrutinize the home they live in to know what steps you need to take. They may need simple assistance like a new prescription, a music system, or new eyeglasses. In some cases, especially if your parents suffer from movement disorders like Ataxia, Parkinson’s disease, or Dyskinesia, they may love to have mobility scooters for sale. For other serious illnesses, consult a doctor at the earliest.
2. Help Your Parents Be Physically Active
Older adults may become entirely inactive once they cross sixty and develop a few physical ailments. Retirement from their regular job and lack of physical labor make seniors all the more lonely and agitated. Such an inactive lifestyle is harmful to your parents’ physical and mental wellbeing.
Although older adults may not have the ability to partake in demanding pursuits like running, swimming, or lifting, it is a proven fact that even basic physical exercises, when carried out regularly, can benefit your parents’ lives.
Regular exercise helps keep away stress, anxiety, and depression. Exercise routine boosts endorphin production, which aids seniors in tackling pain. Being physically active also helps mitigate the risks of obesity and diabetes. It plays a crucial role in maintaining optimal bone health in older adults. Moreover, daily exercise also stabilizes the heart rate and boosts oxygen and blood flow to the brain, leading to enhanced memory and brain function.
Given the importance of regular exercise, you should convince your aging parents to begin their fitness program. Encourage them by explaining the advantages of regular physical training and how it can save them from many physical and mental disturbances. You can even train with them initially to make them feel comfortable. If you think your parents can’t prepare themselves, involve a yoga teacher or physical trainer specializing in handing seniors.
3. Help Your Parents Become Social And Interactive
Older adults go through a huge transition when they retire from their job and accustom themselves to domestic life. They often miss the hustle and bustle of their past activities, and this can cause anxiety to the seniors. If they suffer from a health issue that affects their mobility, it becomes difficult for them to meet people or do an odd task at home.
According to psychologists, person-to-person contact releases neurotransmitters in the body, which leads to reduced cortisol levels. So your parents can fight stress and anxiety better by merely shaking hands, giving a hug, or being close to someone. Being physically present for your parents can make them happy and consoled.
Interacting with others is an excellent way for seniors to enhance memory formation and keep neurodegenerative diseases at bay. Social connections can prompt seniors to lead a healthier lifestyle. Research suggests that socially active people have a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
So it is clear that close social and familial ties make older adults happy. But what if your parents are not fit enough to create such bonds. In such scenarios, be proactive and make your parents’ home a meeting spot for all their friends and relatives. Even if they can’t participate physically, the sensory experience will be soothing for their overall health.
What To Keep In Mind While Taking Care Of Your Aging Parents
Although looking after your parents is your duty, it should not become a burdensome obligation that forces you to compromise your health. Unless you are physically and mentally healthy, you won’t be able to take care of your loved ones. Make sure that you can balance your professional and personal lives when you are caring for your parents. Taking care of your aged parents can be financially taxing too. Ensure proper funds, and don’t hesitate to ask for help if needed.
Caring about your aged parents is an effort that speaks volumes about yourself. However, if you can’t look after their wellbeing at home, you can always seek caregiving agencies’ help. What should remain constant is your love and respect for your parents.