When your parents enter your elderly years, they may encounter various health issues. This could be absolutely anything from mobility issues, diabetes, conditions that affect brain functioning and memory such as Dementia and Parkinson’s disease, and so on. You may decide to take on the role of caregiver to your parents yourself, either in your own home or by moving into theirs. Although caring for your elderly parents can be demanding at times, it can be reassuring and rewarding to know your parents are being cared for by someone they have always had a close relationship with.
Read on to find out more about some tips on ways you can provide care to your parents at home in a manner that allows them to keep hold of their dignity in their senior years.
Why Caring for Your Parents At Home is a Good Option
Whether it’s in your home, your parent’s home, or in another relative’s place, it’s always comforting for anyone to have a nice place to call home. The other alternative is paying to send your mum or dad to a care home or sheltered housing for the elderly where they will be looked after by paid members of staff such as nurses and carers.
The safety blanket and familiarity for your parent of having their own child look after them, instead of having to develop new relationships in their old age with strangers who come in to look after them, is immaterial. Although it can at times be difficult and a big responsibility to look after family members who are infirm or elderly, it may be the best way for them to receive the highest possible quality of life.
Things You Should Look Out for When Caring for Elderly Parents
When you are a caregiver to parents who are elderly, sick, or suffering from long-term debilitating medical conditions, you always need to be able to sniff out the symptoms and signs they are becoming sick. This could be anything from an infection, a flare-up, skin issues and bedsores, flu, and so on. You can never be too sure, so keep an eye on them and pick up the phone to inform your local doctor or hospital for urgent medical advice should their condition begin to deteriorate at any stage. Urinary tract infections are very common with elderly people and can cause them to feel confused.
Any children wanting to provide care for their elderly parents should make sure they are aware of the symptoms of dehydration in elderly people. These signs include dryness of the mouth and tongue, confusion, drowsiness, fatigue, dizziness, low blood pressure and much more.
What You Can Do to Help Them Avoid Memory Loss
Becoming increasingly forgetful is one of the many signs of old age. However, in more severe cases, conditions that affect the memory such as Dementia and Alzheimer’s can lead to parents being no longer able to recognize their own children.
It is devastating for any child providing care to elderly parents to learn that their mum or dad is no longer capable of recognizing their face and doesn’t really know who they are. There are various steps you can take to help improve the memory of elderly people, including them getting plenty of sleep, refreshing their memory by looking through old photographs, keeping them sociable and talking with other people, practicing things which stimulate the mind such as crosswords and math, and making sure they eat a healthy diet with lots of fruit and veg.
In general, avoiding memory loss through activities that improve cognitive function and memory is vital for ensuring elderly people are able to maintain a good quality of life.
Don’t Forget to Have Fun with Your Parents
Just because your parents are now more elderly and perhaps a little bit less mobile than before does definitely not mean that they are no longer able to laugh, smile, or enjoy themselves. Take some time out to have some fun with your parents. Play some old music you know they used to love so they can enjoy reminiscing and having a good listen, watch sports together with them, take them along to a spot they have always been fond of visiting such as a special café.
So, avoid your parents becoming immersed in the doom and gloom that is so often associated with old age, and make sure that they have the opportunity to enjoy themselves a little every now and then.
Fit and healthy sons and daughters looking after elderly parents is definitely not something which should be overlooked. Looking after the elderly doesn’t need to be seen as a burden. If you don’t need to work, have plenty of room available in your house, or your work is flexible, why not take care of your parents much like they cared for you when you were young?
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