Are you one of the millions of Americans currently caring for elderly parents?
If so, you already know what a tough job it can be. And, if you’re about to step into a caregiving role, you’re probably starting to suspect that you’re up against a challenge.
While care for aging parents can feel daunting at first, you aren’t alone. Read on for five top tips to help you cope, plus plenty of helpful advice on how to care for senior citizens.
- Get Organized
Just like caring for children, offering daily support to an elderly parent requires set routines and schedules and a highly organized system at home.
You’ll likely need to manage multiple medicine schedules, as well as other activities like therapy and exercise, not to mention hygiene and physical care like bathing and dressing.
Writing a daily schedule and sticking to it, setting alarms, and avoiding too much variance throughout the week will help you stay on track.
- Be Patient
If you only remember one piece of advice about caring for elderly parents, make it this one. Don’t take it personally, and don’t lose your patience!
Being old is hard, and no parent wants to become a burden. If you’re feeling frustrated or overwhelmed, remind yourself that nobody is trying to upset you.
Quite the opposite is probably true – your parent is doing their best, and so are you!
When you start feeling impatient, step away from the situation for a few minutes. Engage in some healthy activities like exercise or guided meditation, and re-engage when you’re feeling better.
- Use Local Resources
Does your community have a seniors center? Are there local religious or nonprofit organizations that will step in to assist you with your parent? What about free city services like transportation to medical appointments?
If you don’t know the answers to these questions, you might be missing out on valuable help for elderly parents. Find out what local resources are available to you, and utilize them! That’s what they’re there for, after all.
- Be Prepared
When caring for an elderly parent, you should stay alert and aware and prepare for potentially unexpected situations. This should include medical emergencies and sudden changes in health as well as other unforeseen events like natural disasters.
Writing an emergency action plan for a variety of circumstances can help ensure your parent’s safety in an emergency, and it can offer you peace of mind. It’s also a helpful tool to offer part-time or respite caregivers, should something occur when you aren’t present.
- Room for Respite
Even if you’re planning to look after elderly parents at home, you’ll need to take breaks. That’s where highly skilled professional caregivers can step in to help.
Because geriatric care requires specialized knowledge and training, you should opt for a team or facility with extensive experience and outstanding reviews and testimonials. That way, you can rest easy when you step away for a short time.
Caring for Elderly Parents
While caring for elderly parents won’t always be easy, incorporating some of these tips can help lighten the load. And, you’ll thank yourself later for taking the time to ensure their safety and happiness.
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Infographic provided by TargetLeads, a Medicare lead mailing company