What Can You Do for Your Loved Ones as They Age?
Knowing how to help your loved ones as they age can be difficult because it is a balancing act between allowing them to maintain their independence and giving them the support that they need to do this. If you are struggling to know how best to help your loved ones, this article will give you an insight into some of the ways that you can offer support throughout their golden years, especially if they are struggling with their health.
Research Senior Living Facilities
Even though your elderly parent or loved one may not be ready to move to a senior living community yet, your loved one’s health may suddenly decline in the future, at which time you might decide that residential care is the best option for them. Rather than leaving it until then to research senior living facilities like the luxury care given at Brandywine Living, you should start now by checking the options in your area and which might be the best one for them. You should also get your loved ones involved in the discussion so that their wishes can be considered when the decision is made.
Transport Them to Appointments
As people get older, they are less likely to be able to drive than when they are younger. This can be a huge problem if your parent gets ill and needs to attend regular doctor’s appointments, or even if they simply want to keep up their social life. Rather than leaving them to navigate public transport, which they may struggle with if they have mobility issues, you should help to make transport a relaxing experience by offering to take them to the urgent appointments, and even the social dates, that they need to thrive.
Keep Them Company
However, you can help your elderly parents by keeping them company more than anything. Loneliness in older people is rife, especially if they live alone or are widowed, and this can lead to serious health issues if nothing is done. The most important step you can take is to visit them as much as you can. If this is not possible, such as if you live far away, you should schedule regular phone calls with your loved one. You should also try to teach your elderly loved ones to use technology so that you can instant message, text, email, and video call whenever they are feeling isolated.
Organizing the different services that older people need can be difficult for them to handle, especially as multiple different services will need to be arranged and scheduled around each other. If they are struggling with this, you should consider taking on this responsibility to make sure that they get all of the home help they need, whether this is in the form of a gardener, nurse, or cleaner.
Consider Power of Attorney
If your loved ones cannot make decisions for themselves anymore, such as if they have a medical condition like dementia, you should consider taking on the ultimate responsibility of a power of attorney. This will allow you to make financial and legal decisions in their name and will ensure that you can keep their assets safe for them. To get power of attorney for your loved one, you will have to sign the documents in front of an appropriate witness and get the documents notarized for them to be valid.
Install a Medical Alert System
However much you want to help your aging loved ones, it is unlikely that you will be able to be there for them all of the time. Then, to make sure that you are always there when they need you, you should encourage them to invest in a medical alert system. For instance, call buttons can be worn around the neck and can allow your parents to contact you or a medical professional if they have a fall or need extra help. This will ensure that you do not have to worry about them when you are not with them.
Leave Them to Ask for Help
However, although it is normal to want to help your parents as much as humanly possible, sometimes it is easy to smother your parents and their hard-won independence. Rather than giving them endless help when they would rather complete activities for themselves, you should ask them if they need help with anything or leave them to come to you for help. By simply letting them know that you are there and willing to help you, you will be providing them with much-needed support that will actively make a difference.
One aspect of daily life that many elderly people struggle with is their shopping. Then, you should consider offering to help them to complete this by buying their food with yours and delivering it to their door yourself if you live local. This will enable them to be safe in the knowledge that they will always have fresh food coming through the door, no matter if they fall ill or do not feel up to shopping on any week.
Offer Them a Home
Your parents will not always be able to stay at home, and sometimes this might just be temporary. For instance, some elderly people may need somewhere to stay after an operation, or they may like to leave their house for a while if they are feeling isolated. Then, you can offer them help by giving them a home at your place, ensuring that a spare bed is always available and made up for them and that they are welcome to stay there when possible. This can help them when they need a place to recover after surgery and even when they just need a little extra support.
Give Your Contact Details
Being their next of kin can be a big responsibility. You should try to give your contact details alongside your parents when dealing with medical professionals and even their neighbors. This will ensure that you hear of any issues that they are facing and that you will be contacted in an emergency.