They have reared you from a little bundling that they brought home from the hospital all the way into the full-grown men or women that you are now. You owe so much to your parents, so it is no wonder that you start worrying about them as they develop various health issues as they grow older. Old age is not bad in itself, as many seniors have learned to enjoy it but only after they have dealt with all the health problems previously bothering them. If your parent or parents are not letting their motivation levels drop, you should do your best to actively help to protect them. You are everything but powerless, as there are several steps you can take to ease old age for your loving parent.
Get involved in the decision-making process
Although the saying that people who reach old age seem to act more like children than adults is said as a joke, there is some truth to it. As they grow older, your parent’s mind will become less sharp and they will be less likely to make important decisions in a timely manner. As a good son or a daughter, you should step in and help them deal with responsibility by sharing it.
Perhaps the house they live in right now needs to be sold after they move to the retirement home. This involves a lot of legal issues and dealing with real estate agencies, which generates a lot of stress the elderly find difficult to deal with. Sit down with them and explain that it would be much better if you were in charge of the entire sale, so they would be able to enjoy their retirement days without the unnecessary hassle.
When to visit?
Another important issue that children of aging parents have to worry about is visitation time. If you are present in the house too often, then you are bound to engage in frequent confrontations which is something you definitely want to avoid. On the other side, if you visit not often enough, you will be kept out the family affairs and grow distant from your parent, failing to realize what their wishes are and in which way you can help them. We would like to say that once a week or once a month is enough to visit your aging parent in order to establish the best possible rapport but this is really an individual issue. You know your parent the best, so choose the optimal visitation time based on your previous experience.
If you are unable to visit at all for some reason, then you can hire a person to tend to your parent. Such home care services are quite common in urban areas, so you won’t have difficulties finding the individual suited for the job. They can clean the house, run errands, get groceries, and prepare food, which are all task your aging parent is struggling with. If things are really bad, then that person can even move in your family home to be able to help your parent 24/7.
Does my parent need a medical alarm?
One of the consequences of you not being there all the time or simply living in another part of the house is the fact that you are not there to help your parent 24/7. It is highly questionable if they know how to properly use modern communication channels, such as the Internet and smartphones, so it is always good to have an extra way in which they can tell you something is wrong.
Medical alarms come in the form of a pendant and they are fairly simple in design, which means that even an aging person will have no trouble using them. Check with your local medical alarms supplier for additional features such as a fall detector, LED lights, an SOS hotkey, waterproofness, and an emergency GPS locator. The latter function is extremely useful if your parent has Alzheimer’s disease and they wander off from the family home. With the help of a GPS locator, you will be able to find them quicker, without alarming the authorities. You can never be too safe when it comes to the safety of your parent.
General mood and socializing
When it comes to determining exactly when does your parent require help, you can use their mood as an indicator. If their personality suddenly changes and they become easily irritable, then you can be sure that old age is starting to take its toll. This is the time they need you the most by their side, as they struggle to keep their old habits.
Another good indicator that something is wrong are their friends and social activities. If you notice they’ve stopped talking about Aunt Edna or Joe from next door, then they are probably making themselves lonely. This should not be the case, as seniors have to socialize with their peers for reasons of mental health and they need to stay active physically, at least to the extent they were before.
Once you notice that your parent is having health issues, a change needs to occur inside your head. Your entire life your parents were the ones who took care of you, even when you moved out of the family home. Because of this constant care, you felt safe but now is the time to repay the favor. The child-parent roles have to become reversed and you have to start taking care of your former caregivers. This is a weird twist of destiny but it is a test of your maturity as well. All the love you feel towards your parent now needs to go into their safety and medical treatments. Love will no longer be expressed by a single “I love you” phrase, but through constant care for your parent’s wellbeing.
The older your parent gets, the more active should you be in helping them. They might fight it at first, but once they realize that everything you do for them is in their best interest and that it is steeped in love, they will reciprocate that love.