As infants, we’re completely dependent on our parents to care for our basic needs. Later in life, however, this dynamic is often reversed, with our aging parents becoming reliant on us to provide them with the same level of care they once did when we were very young. 

If the prospect of being a caregiver to your mom or dad feels daunting, keep reading for four of our top tips on how to get prepared, remain respectful, and also, look after yourself while caring for your aging parents.

Tip # 1: Develop a Care Plan for Your Aging Parents 

 

A critical part of stepping up as your parent’s caregiver is to develop a care plan for them. 

There are multiple elements you’ll need to consider as part of this plan. Some important aspects of caring for aging parents you’ll need to consider include:

Is their home environment safe?

If not, consider installing safety railings, age-appropriate furniture, and other mobility-friendly amenities –  particularly if your parents’ home has stairs or other difficult-to-navigate areas.

What is their level of physical fitness and mobility?

Do your elderly parents still have relatively good mobility? Encourage them to exercise. 

For aging adults, physical activity has been proven to have huge benefits – including reducing the risk of early onset of dementia by almost 25%.

Do they have access to nutritious, healthy meals?

 

As we age, our appetite decreases. And with it, our desire to eat. But as caregivers, we still need to ensure that our aging parents are getting all the nutrients they need from their diets.

Consider arranging a meal delivery service for your parents, as well as dietary supplements such as protein drinks and vitamins.

What are their medical needs?

Do your elderly parents need assistance with administering their medication? 

You may want to consider engaging the services of an in-home nursing practitioner – particularly one who has completed an MSN AGPCNP qualification – to support and assist your parents with this. 

Has their cognitive ability been impacted by aging?

The harsh truth? No matter what we do, aging elicits a decline in our cognitive abilities. 

Whether they try to stave it off through physical exercise, or exercising the brain with crossword puzzles, sudoku, or light reading, your parents may still experience symptoms of dementia. 

If this is the case, your parents may need outsourced aged care support. 

Tip # 2: Research All the Available Aged Care Options 

In all fairness, our parents may prefer to grow old in the comfort of their own homes. But with their physical and cognitive abilities declining, sometimes, the best option is to move them into an aged care facility where qualified medical professionals can tend to their needs.

There are many different types of facilities to consider, all offering different levels of care. For aging parents with more independence, housing them in a retirement village may be sufficient. This can also be beneficial in the social aspect, as they will be surrounded by other elderly people of similar ability. For aging parents who may be more affected in terms of their physical or cognitive decline, a nursing home that provides its residents with a high level of care and attention may be more suitable. 

Tip # 3: Remain Compassionate, Sensitive, and Respectful 

There’s nothing worse than losing our sense of autonomy, and your parents may be adamant they want to retain some control over their lives. The harsh truth? Even though you’re just trying to help them, your parents may be resistant to your care. 

Our tip? Ensure your parents feel involved and included in all of your decisions concerning them, especially when formulating their care plan. 

Tip # 4: Be Sure to Fill Your Own Cup Too

Our final tip: don’t let caring for your parents completely take over your life. While being a caregiver can feel like a full-time job, you must take time out for yourself as well. 

Be sure to schedule in time to do things you enjoy – activities that nurture your soul and bring you pleasure. The best part about doing this? It will also help you take your mind off the daily pressures of caring for your parents. 

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The information presented on this website is not intended as specific medical advice and is not a substitute for professional treatment or diagnosis. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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Isreal olabanji a dental assistant and public health professionals and has years of experience in assisting the dentist with all sorts of dental issues.We regularly post timely and trustworthy medical information and news on Fitness, Dental care, Recipes, Child health, obstetrics, and more.

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