When was the last time a child thought about their parents needing a helper? Most children growing up never think about the time when they will have to care for an elderly parent. Sometimes as the parent gets older, becoming a person that needs to be cared for can happen overnight. Everyone loves to be independent and self-sufficient but when the time comes, a child must realize that there are many things that have to be taken care of to ensure their parents best health and safety. Things can get very stressful at times for both the elderly parent and child. Having the knowledge to know what to do and being prepared for it can make everyone’s life all that much easier. Here are a few things to keep in mind when caring for an elderly parent.
Play It Smart by first trying to assess the situation. Sometimes a senior can be very independent and might be able to take care of themselves and tend to all their basic daily needs with just a tad of assistance. There are so many things that need to get done on a daily basis. Starting from getting dressed in the morning and making three meals a day to the regular routine activities and housekeeping that has to get done around the house. All this might be able to be done by an elderly senior, and that is great and can keep the senior active and in shape. But sometimes, just having someone around to assist with these activities can be a very helpful thing. There is also an added benefit of having someone else around the entire day and that is simply to have someone for them to talk to and to socialize to keep their sanity. If their daily chores and basic needs will not be able to get done, then a home healthcare aide is a crucial necessity. There are plenty of seniors that only need this basic help and can then be very independent throughout the day. But as an elderly senior needs more help things can get a bit more complicating and stressful. The best is for a child to help their parent, but obviously that will not be possible if a child is working to be there 24/7 for their parent, so a full-time aid might be the way to go. This is an imperative thing if they need help with feeding, getting up and down from a chair, and showering. It might be advisable that if the parent is a bariatric patient and needs help getting up and down, that you hire a male nurse to help. Since male nurses are strong and have enough stamina to give the proper care for the patient. John Mendel who was in this exact situation dealing with an elderly bariatric parent said that he hired a male nurse. John said he was excellent. He described the nurse aid as “He dressed in a clean men’s scrub set every day and a smile.”
Where an elderly parent lives is vital to their well-being. Obviously, everyone wants to live out their golden years in the comfort of their own home. But sometimes, that is not the best option and can even be dangerous. Living at home can be a very good option if it’s conducive for the current situation. Sometimes just some basic changes to the house, like widening doors for a wheelchair, putting in grab bars into the bathroom, and taking away some steps can make it a great option. There are in addition many easy self-dressing clothing like magnetic button shirts and easy pull up pants that can be a life changer for your elderly parent. However, if more care is needed or there is no one around to help in the house, than maybe an assisted living should be looked at. If there’s critical medical attention needed or lots of therapy, then a nursing home should be the place to go. Just keep in mind that being in a nursing home can be very lonely and sometimes depressing, so making sure that the right home is found. Be sure that the home is a right fit not only for the physical needs of your parents but the emotional well-being as well. And of course, make it a priority in your life to go and visit your parent to be sure they are getting the proper care.
There are many private and public helpful resources that can and should be utilized when starting to help your elderly parent. Always remember that you are not alone and there are many businesses and organizations can provide you help, and service top navigate this new life. There are also many government agencies, both local and national that can be a great resource to tap into. Many moving parts have to be taken care of and making sure that it is done correctly can spare you of having issues down the line. It is especially important to make sure that your parent have the right insurance plan both for their care and for any medication and therapy that is needed. This will save you a lot of hassle and bills. Patients can be denied certain critical services because of their lack of funds. There can also be certain services that a senior can be entitled to that you might not even know about. It is for this reason why contacting one of these helpful outside resources is so important.
This can all be very overwhelming at the beginning, however, always keep in mind that caring for a parent is a unique responsibility as well as an honor. Parents take care of their children unconditionally, and when a parent unfortunately becomes on the receiving end it should be looked at as a way of giving back for all that they did for you. Times and things can get extremely stressful and hard but having the right mind set can lots of times make it all that much easier.