Over the ages, it has always been the duty of a society to take care of its elderly. This is especially true when the senior citizens in question are our parents. Parents often make huge sacrifices as they bring up their children so as to ensure the children get better lives and also in the hope that in their old age, their children will be there for them. The vulnerability occasioned by old age makes special care a necessity and not a privilege. We have just as much of a duty to look after our elderly parents as we do to our children. Traditionally, the elderly have been cared for at home, the majority of people do this even today. In addition to home care, today there are retirement communities, nursing homes as well as assisted living residences. Whichever way you go, the important thing is that it affords your elderly parents the best possible care. Remember, one person caring for another, represents life’s greatest value. Here are a few ways in which you can care for your elderly parents.
Enlist somebody to help them
Due to the world setup today, especially due to our work routines, chances are that you might not be available always to help your parents with everything. As such, it is paramount that they have somebody readily available to help them with certain day to day chores- like cleaning. With age, certain basic tasks become hard to execute and as such, there should be an extra hand to help out. This will go a long way in making your parents comfortable especially if they are living at home. Having somebody around is also necessary in case of emergencies.
Analyze their needs and wishes and act accordingly
Different people have different needs as well as wishes in life. This is true for your parents as well. Since they are elderly, you will be required to decide which type of care serves them best. So as to devise a plan that best suits them, it is important that you find out what their plans are. They might want to stay at home or might want to stay closer to their children.
Also of importance, is their health. Some conditions require frequent observations. In such a case, you might opt to have them in a nursing home where that type of care will be provided round the clock.
You also need to assess their ability to live independently. This is especially important for single parents or for parents who have lost a spouse. Often they will be lonely. Poor eating habits, poor hygiene and forgetfulness are some of the pointers that would indicate that your parents are not best suited to live independently.
With the information, act accordingly and come up with a plan that will best work for your parents. Be keen to explain your decisions to them especially when the decision involves moving them from their homes.
Provide for their expenses
Most elderly people do not have a reliable income source. This calls for your input, especially in a case where your parents are not living with you. These expenses range from the caregiver’s fees to daily expenditures. To ensure that they are comfortable, it is important that you come up with a way to make certain that their expenses are catered for.
Ensure you visit your parents often
In as much as providing financial assistance is important, one thing your parents would like more than anything is seeing you often. At their age, they cherish company. Being with you makes them happy. They are always keen to share their experiences with you and listen to yours as well. Visiting them frequently also affords you the opportunity to assess their well-being, be it physically or emotionally.
Always be supportive emotionally
Mostly, when caring for the elderly, we focus only on their material needs. We almost always seem oblivious of the emotional turmoil they are going through. With age, their senses become weaker. This calls for you to be kind to them. Do not keep away from them simply because you find them uninteresting.
Ensure that you are always careful and discreet with regards to their troubles. Go easy on them even when they irritate you.
Speak louder or get closer to them when talking to them especially when they start developing hearing difficulties.
They are certainly going through a lot, so, always encourage them. This will go a long way in making them more cheerful in addition to raising their esteem.
The fact is, your parents won’t be with you forever-that is the fact of life. For this reason, you ought to consider caring for them, a blessing. You will always feel good with yourself knowing you took care of them. Take it upon yourself to make their lives just a little bit better regardless of the turmoil they are going through as a result of their ageing. For sure, you owe much to your parents, taking care of them in their old age is the least you can do.