Most seniors reach an age when they need a bit of extra support. Knowing how best to care for an aging parent can be a challenge, and they may be resistant to your help. If you’re looking for ideas on how to support a senior, then here are three tips for caring for aging parents.
Tip 1: Assess how much care they need
As your parents get older, it’s important to assess how much care they need regularly. For instance, aging parents may start to need assistance with things like running errands or doing household chores. If this true in their case, then you could offer to visit once a week to help out or arrange for a carer to see them at home and provide assistance. As your parents get older, they are likely to require more intensive care, particularly if they develop health conditions. If your parents need high levels of support, then it might be worth considering residential care. When your elderly parent moves into a senior living community, you can have peace of mind knowing that their care needs are met. Often, seniors enjoy much more fulfilling lives once they move into residential care as they are surrounded by other seniors and have access to specialist programs and activities.
Certain medical conditions like incontinence, which is common in older adults (ages 65 and up) will require a higher level of care that only a dedicated caregiver can better provide. In one report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 43.8 percent of older adults living at home say that they experience bladder or bowel incontinence. While incontinence protection pads and underwear are available to help people with this condition, the aftercare can still take a toll on older adults, especially if they have limited mobility. A senior living community with around-the-clock care or home care service is worth considering for your aging parents. It’s important to discuss this with your parents to ensure that you respect their needs and wishes.
Tip 2: Encourage them to make healthy lifestyle choices
Leading a healthy lifestyle is particularly important as people get older. Seniors are more at risk of developing illnesses, so they must focus on staying as fit and healthy as possible. Aging parents can be resistant to change, but there are lots of ways to encourage them to make healthier lifestyle choices. For example, cook them healthy meals so they can try new food and ingredients. You can also promote your aging parents to exercise more by helping them find an exercise group that is tailored to seniors. This can be a great way to get your parents moving and help them meet other seniors in their local area. You could also offer to exercise with your aging parents by going for a walk together or doing a home workout DVD. Your parents are far more likely to exercise if they have someone to motivate them and do physical activities with.
Tip 3: Stay in regular contact
Recent statics show that around 13.8 million older adults live alone in the US. Living alone puts seniors more at risk of developing mental health issues like depression. Seniors are also more likely to experience the death of a partner or friends due to age or illness. Regular socialization can help seniors live longer and happier lives. Research has found that social interaction can boost feelings of well-being and reduce stress and anxiety. Make an effort to stay in regular contact with your aging parents and check how they are doing. Planning family gatherings can be a great way to bring your loved ones together and celebrate special occasions like birthdays or anniversaries.