Caring For The Elderly: How To Make Sure Your Parent Is Happy And Healthy
We might not like it, but everyone gets old. As we do, our mental and physical health slowly degrades. This can be scary and difficult for most of us, and your parents aren’t an exception. After being used to doing everything for themselves, being taken care of by others is going to be hard for them. With that in mind, you need to know how to properly care for them in a way that doesn’t decrease their self-worth. They need to know that they can rely on you when needed without feeling as if they are a burden to you. Here are some pointers on how to make sure that your parents are happy and healthy under your care.
Let Them Tell You When
We’re all prideful, and sometimes that pride can get in the way of asking for help. Seniors are notorious for this. This is usually because they want to keep their independence. If they always seek help for every little thing, it will cause some degree of self-pity and feeling useless. To avoid this, while still being helpful, let them tell you when you can help.
It might seem hard at first because you want to make things easier for them, but don’t swoop in without their confirmation. This approach works well for people with headstrong and prideful personalities. You can let them know, from early on, that they can call on you at any time, and you won’t take over unless they agree or it’s an emergency. Most seniors will respect such an agreement. It shows them that you care and that you value their independence.
The trick here is to know your parents and listen keenly when they voice concerns about a problem or situation they are having.
Know When to Get Help
Unless you’re a superhero, you won’t always be able to do everything yourself. At some point, you’re going to need to call in reinforcements. That could be either another family member, professional in home care, or an assisted living community. Knowing when to get help from others is critical to giving your parents the care they need.
The best way to determine how and when you should depend on several factors. You will first need to assess your parents’ needs, daily routine, and current capabilities. This gives you an idea of the workload your help will be undertaking. Next is to consider your own needs, responsibility, and availability. Once you’re aware of that, you’ll be able to determine what you can and cannot do for your parents.
The idea is to do what you can, when you can, and seek professional help for anything else. This is the best way to avoid burnout and feeling burdened. The instant you feel stressed or overwhelmed, your parents will notice and it can have a toll on them. Stress can lead to friction and friction can erupt into conflict. The last thing you want is to be angry with your parents at this point in their life and have them feel as if they are a major burden to you.
You can reassure seniors of their independence and capabilities by working with them instead of taking over. Allow them to take the lead on their daily tasks while you act in a supporting role. This is essential in letting them know that they still have control over their lives. When it comes to handling activities of daily living (ADL), letting them take points boosts their morale.
Being collaborative also includes involving them in how you plan to take care of them. Instead of telling them what you will and won’t do, make it a discussion. Let them know the options on the table, what you suggest should be done, and then hear what they have to say. Beyond listening to them, you should also implement some of their own suggestions. Operating as a partnership will make changes easier for both of you.
Getting old isn’t easy; not for you or the people around you. Most elderly parents know this and try their best to not be a burden to their families. This can cause them to stubbornly refuse help or not seek it out in the first place. Understanding how to care for your elderly parents is vital to their physical and emotional wellbeing. Let them know that you are there to help without being overbearing. In whatever way possible, show them that they still retain their independence and you’re trying to control their lives. If you guys work together, then caring for them will be much easier.
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