Growing Old: How To Care For Your Ageing Parents

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We don’t want to think about our parents getting older, but sadly we do need to face reality, as one day they may be unable to perform even the simplest of tasks.

Talking to our family about the future is important. Not only do we need to speak to our parents about their feelings and wishes, but we should also include other family members as well. Being prepared is half the battle won, so to help you within your situation, here is some advice for helping your parents in their later years.

Gather the family together

No matter how difficult this may be, you should get everybody together, including your parents, and talk about the future. Inevitably, there will be some who are reluctant to have this discussion, but you all need to be on the same page when making important decisions.

You need to consider finances. How can you pay for the health care your parents need? If they become unable to look after themselves, how is the family going to help care for them? These are difficult questions, but ones that need to be answered early. There needs to be mutual respect among all parties, with everybody having the opportunity to speak.

Above all, your parent's wishes need to be taken into account if they are still of right mind. What do they consider the best course of action? They may want to stay at home and receive elder care from an outside service. Perhaps they want to take away some of the burdens of the family and move into a care home or independent living community. As far as possible, ensure you fulfill their wishes.

Preventative measures

There are ways you can care for your parents without being at their side all the time. For example, their home may need to be remodified to accommodate their needs. A stair lift, for example, or bath rails to avoid the danger of falling.

Purchase technology to help, including GPS mobile devices which enable the elderly to call for aid at a push of a button. Worn around the wrist or clipped to a belt, these can be lifesavers when your parent can’t reach the phone. The button press will call through to an emergency operator who will get them the help they need.

Visit your parents regularly

While your parents are still living at home, it is essential you check up on them regularly. There may be areas in their lifestyle that they are neglecting, such as not eating properly or ignoring exercise. If you find they can no longer cook for themselves or manage certain tasks, you need to get them help if they insist on staying at home.

Losing one of your parents can be hard to take, as their death will leave a huge hole in your life. However, your surviving parent will need all the support you can give them, as they may suffer from loneliness and depression. Having your company will make all the difference, and will benefit both of you in the years to come.


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