Try as we might, we can’t stop time and we’re all getting older all the time. Aging hits everyone a little differently. As folks get older, many of them keep active and are able to do everyday tasks for themselves. Still, others have a harder time adjusting and aging proves very hard, as everyday tasks aren’t able to be completed without help.
Take your parents for example. If your folks are getting on in years, you could help them get set up in a nursing home or an assisting living facility. Another option for caring for your aging parents is having them with you in your home. It might seem like a tall order, but with some modifications, you can pull it off.
If you’re going to be caring for your aging parents in your home, here are some tips to make it a smooth transition:
Help Them To Move Around
You can make things a lot easier for your parents by making it easier to move in your home. The harder it is to move, the more trouble they might have adjusting to their new digs. Even if you don’t realize it, your home might be filled with uneven surfaces or slippery flooring that could prove hazardous to your parents.
So what can you do? You can install non-slip flooring in your home on the inside and non-slip stripping on the outside. If your parents are in the driveway often, you should look into fixing any cracks or uneven patches you find. You might even consider installing a ramp on the outside of your home or installing a lift on your staircase so your parents can get up and down the stairs much easier.
If your loved one can move around alright, but it uncomfortable doing so, help them adjusting by getting them shoes for foot problems. Making an appointment with a podiatrist can get them set up with a pair of orthopedic shoes which will help them feel more comfortable.
Another area you might look into is your roof. Believe it or not, a leaky roof can be the culprit when it comes to cracked pavement or leaks inside your home. If necessary, call a re-roofing service to come and patch any holes in your roof or put up new shingles if your roof is aging. This will also help keep out drafts, which could make your parents colder, especially in the winter.
Modify The Kitchen
There are many things you can do to make life easier if you’re caring for your aging parents and at the end of the day it’s all about making things accessible. The more your parents feel right at home, the better off everyone is going to be.
One way you can do this is to modify and improve the functionality of your kitchen. You can install easy-to-reach shelves and drawers that allow them to reach essential items. You can also put in pressure valves which will regulate the temperature of the water coming out of the sink.
Make sure you have some of their favorite foods on hand and make sure items in your pantry are easy for them to reach.
Think About Their Schedule
Caring for your aging parents also includes keeping up with their schedule, especially when it comes to doctor appointments. For example, if one of your parents needs dental care, make sure they get to their appointments on time by driving them there.
There may be times when your parents feel like an inconvenience to you and your family, but by helping them get to appointments on time, such as appointments with a skin care doctor, and keeping their schedule in mind, you’re doing them a great service and helping them complete everyday tasks.
Make Them Comfortable
Caring for your aging parents in your home can be an adjustment for everyone. Your parents might be a little resistant at first, especially if they’re used to being quite independent. But the best thing you can do is to make them comfortable and feel welcomed.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to give the bedroom they’ll be staying in a makeover. Put up fresh, new wallpaper, add some fresh flowers in a vase or even move in some of their keepsakes from their old home to make them feel more at home.
Have The Right Equipment On Hand
A big part of caring for your aging parents at home is having the right equipment on hand to help them. Things that you’re able to do easily might be more difficult for them and it’s important to have the tools on hand to help them adjust.
So what do you need? For starters, you might want to get your parents medical alert devices. Even if you don’t leave them alone very often, you never know when something might happen and this can allow medical services to reach them quickly. You can also get walking aids, such as canes or ACTIVATOR poles to help your parents get around. These work well if your parents deal with chronic pain and have trouble standing up or sitting down.
The same thing can be said for assistive seating. It’s estimated that 25% of elderly people will die after a broken hip resulting from a fall, so thankfully assistive seating can be installed in your home where your parents can be lifted in and out of a chair. It might not hurt to have some grabbers, or long reach tools on hand so that your parents can reach things they need, especially if they happen to be alone, even for a short period of time.
Don’t Neglect Home Repairs
Caring for your aging parents means that you’ve got to make some modifications at home, which means there’s never been a better time to do those home repairs you’ve been putting off.
If you’ve got loose cabinet doors or a faulty HVAC system or a leaky roof, it’s time to get to work. All of those things you’ve been putting off or thinking that you’ll get to later could potentially make things uncomfortable or unpleasant for your parents and that’s obviously what you’re trying to avoid.
You can also help invest in storage solutions to better organize their home. Older folks have had an entire lifetime to accumulate goods and memories that matter to them. When you’re trying to improve their home, investing in a garage, complete with protective residential garage door repairs, can help keep their goods safe from the elements. Just make sure that it’s air-tight to prevent pests and the weather from damaging this section of their home.
Help Them With Legal Matters
As your parents get older, they’re going to need to get their affairs in order, whether they move in with you or not. One way you can really help them is by being there to help them sort out any and all legal matters that pop up. That may include putting together a will or helping them with the sale of their house.
Helping them also means finding trusting legal experts to make the whole process smoother. A trust and estate planning lawyer can help your parents settle all their financial affairs and draft a will. It’s advised that your parents do all this while they’re still able because if something should happen to them, everything about their estate will be spelled out in black and white.
Assisting your parents with legal matters also means helping them deal with any issues regarding health care. For example, you can meet with health care attorneys to help sort out any problems with your parents’ insurance, such as their Medicare and Medicaid benefits.
An important part of caring for your aging parents also means knowing your limits. As badly as you may want to have your parents move in with you and take care of them, it just might not be in the cards. In the event that that happens, one of the best things you can do for your mom and dad is to hire a caretaker.
A home care aide or caretaker can provide your parents with all the care they need and provide many benefits to them as well as to you:
Peace Of Mind
Whether your parents require round-the-clock care or just a little bit of help to retain their independence, a caretaker can help give you and both of them peace of mind. There’s a lot to be said for that because you want to be sure that your parents are in good hands. With caretakers, they absolutely will be.
As much as you might want to care for your aging parents, there are just some ways you might not be able to, especially when it comes to health care. Thankfully, caretakers can be there to give your parents the care they need. If they need preventative care, such as screenings and immunizations, caretakers can provide it. If one of your parents needs foot injury treatment after they trip and fall, caretakers have answers for that too.
If you have a parent that deals with chronic pain, a caretaker might be able to even help them secure a medical marijuana card and take them to local cannabis dispensaries to get aids for their chronic pain. It can be used to treat conditions of all kinds, from muscle spasm to cancer to seizures, Alzheimer’s disease to mental health conditions to multiple sclerosis.
A good caretaker will adapt to the needs of your parents and help take a lot of stress off of your shoulders. Dealing with things like medication schedules can be very tricky as can going to the bathroom. That’s why caretakers are there. They will help your parents in whatever capacity they need.
Caring for your aging parents also means helping them maintain their independence if possible. For many elderly folks, there’s nothing worse than losing their sense of independence, especially when it comes to doing simple, everyday things.
Sure, caretakers can help address your parents’ medical needs, but they can also help them maintain their independence in other aspects of everyday life. A caretaker can help get them to appointments—helping them avoid getting stuck in traffic or calling for roadside assistance—and they can also help them run errands or even set up and keep a social schedule.
Make no mistake, hiring a caretaker or a live-in home care assistant can be costly. But there’s a lot of benefit to doing so too. While it can be costly, there’s lots of flexibility associated with the costs and you may be able to find some discounts here and there too. If your parents have good insurance, the insurance company may cover some of the costs associated with the caretaker, but at the end of day, you really need to decide what the best course of action is for your parents to get the care they need.
It doesn’t matter if your parents just need a little help during the day or round-the-clock medical care, there’s perhaps no better benefit of a caretaker than the fact that they give your loved ones the personalized attention they need. They are there to aid your parents with whatever they need and to make them feel safe and comfortable. This allows your parents to get the one-on-one care and attention that you might not be able to provide.
Make The Right Choice
Whether you’re caring for your aging parents in your own home or hiring a caretaker to assist them in their home, you need to make the right choices for your parents. If they’re not keen on moving in with you, hire a caretaker to help them maintain their independence.
But if your parents do move in with you, do all that you can to give them attention and make them feel comfortable. At first, they might feel like they’re a burden to you and it’s up to you to assure them that they aren’t and to make them feel welcome.
So what can you do? Spend as much time with them as possible. Soak it in. Play games with them, go on walks, pull out old photo albums, and tell stories. If they have favorite hobbies, help encourage them to continue those. If they love crafting, work on art projects with them. If they love movies, make time to sit and enjoy a movie with them.
Caring for your aging parents isn’t always easy. If they’re living with you, there are probably going to be good days and bad days. But the important thing is to remember that you love them and that you’re taking care of them. By doing everything you can to care for them and to make them feel comfortable, they’ll appreciate your efforts too.
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