Your parents cared for you when you were a child, and although they didn’t do it to benefit themselves, there may come a time for you to return the favour. There may come a time when your parents need you to care for them, as they did for you, because of old age.
If you ever find yourself needing to care for your elderly parents, then make sure to remember the three pieces of advice on doing so below.
Make their home accessible
In their old age, your parents will not be as sprightly as you have always known them to be. In their elderly years, your parents won’t be able to do many ‘normal’ things that they have always been able to do. This involves activities as simple as getting up the stairs or even getting out of bed.
Because of this, if you are serious about allowing your parents to keep the standard of life they want, then you have to make their home accessible. Say to them you can keep your independence with a stairlift, whether they like it or not, you have to have a stairlift fitted to help them circumvent the stairs. You have to have rails installed around the home so they can remain mobile about it. You have to have a ramp fitted outside their front door if wheelchair access is needed. Whatever the cost, whatever your parents may say or think, you have to make their home accessible for them.
Help them, but don’t do everything for them
Your parents’ bodies might be ageing, but that doesn’t mean that you should do everything for them. By doing so, you will take away their independence, and doing that will only ever have a detrimental effect on their mental health.
To the point, you should ask your parents to do everything they can to help themselves. Despite their ageing bodies, you should ask your parents to attempt the Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), which involve self-feeding, functional mobility and dressing themselves, so that they can keep the independence that they deserve. It’s okay to help them as they attempt their ADLs, though, and it’s okay to be instrumental in them succeeding at them. This means that you should cook their meals but not feed them, and you should clean and maintain their clothes without dressing them.
Make sure they are looked after in a professional and proper manner
It’s okay to ask for professional help when it comes to caring for your elderly parents. Doing so is not you giving up on them. It’s not you admitting defeat. It’s you giving your parents the best chance possible of getting the standard of life that they deserve. So, if the day comes when you know your parents need professional, around-the-clock assistance, then check them into a care home.
Caring for your parents in their twilight years is the least you can do for them. So, get caring, and don’t be afraid to make some tough decisions to better their care if you have to.