Parents are always trying to protect their children. You’ve been used to their care and comfort for decades and it’s sad when their body stops them from continuing their role. Age gets the better of everyone in the end, so it’s inevitable. Now, it’s your turn to ensure that they are looked after and well cared for in their golden years. It’s the least your mom and dad deserve after years of service and never complaining.
Putting a loved one’s health first isn’t a breeze. Unlike with kids, it’s tough not to feel angry and frustrated with them at times. Some people are stubborn and will act as if you’re not putting their interest above yours, which isn’t true. Or, the fact that the responsibility lies on your shoulders can be enough to add to your stress levels. Before you create a routine, then, it’s essential to understand the changes that you need to make to get used to your new life. Some are simple and others are complicated, but all of them are necessary.
To find out more, scroll down and check out the following. Below are the considerations which are the most helpful regarding caring for an elderly loved one.
Nursing Home Versus Your Home
The age-old question is whether you will take care of them at home or whether they’ll move into a nursing home. The latter is often not the most appealing option for you or your loved ones because it feels cruel. Children hate that they can’t bear the brunt of the responsibility and it makes them feel as if they are passing the buck. Parents often resent the fact that they lose their independence and freedom in a nursing home.
However, there may not be enough room in your home. Unfortunately, it takes more than a spare bedroom to provide comfortable living space. For example, you’ll need to install equipment such as a stair lift to help them get up the stairs. Also, someone will have to be at home around the clock to ensure they are safe. Asking your husband to pitch in is one thing; doing the same of your kids is another.
If you do opt to move them into your property, be sure to fit proper equipment such as grab bars and a walk-in shower. Also, don’t be scared to hire a nurse to help out during the day when you have to juggle work and school. Concerning a nursing home, remember that it isn’t a cop-out as they will receive the best care possible.
Whether they move in with you or decide on a living facility, keeping tabs on expenses is imperative. You can’t be expected to pay for everything when you have a mortgage to stick to as well as the general upkeep on your lifestyle. Sometimes, it’s tough enough dealing with the cost of your life without adding extra expenses to the list.
Thankfully, the elderly get help from the government in the form of benefits and they should cover the majority of the costs. Also, your parents will have a retirement plan as well as investments so their nest egg shouldn’t be small. Don’t take more than you need, but do set up a program that ensures the bills are paid at the end of the month. How do you do that? The answer is with a simple budget. Account for the outgoings and cross check it with the available balance and set up an automatic payment with the bank. That way, there is no need to review the expenses every month unless something changes.
Of course, your parents may be able to deal with the majority of their bills. Just because their body is aging doesn’t mean their mind isn’t sharp. In that case, let them manage their finances and only step in when they ask for help or there is a problem.
Safety And Security
Their health is the most important thing, which is why there needs to be an emphasis on safety and security. Unfortunately, it’s tricky to find the perfect balance without invading their privacy. It isn’t as if you can put up cameras – they are guests in your home, not inmates! Hiring a qualified nurse is one step, yet it’s only the start of a long journey.
To ensure they well care for twenty-four hours a day, it’s important to look at your skills. Children need to understand that they may not be the right people for the job just because the patients are their parents. Without the proper skill set, you may put your mom or dad’s health in jeopardy without knowing. To prevent this from happening, students can enroll in Carson-Newman’s online MSN-FNP program. As well as a general understanding of medicine, attendees also complete a module in primary nursing care for adults too.
For those who don’t want to go back to school, technology can help. Motion sensors in the house will alert you to a problem without impacting their privacy. Also, tech-savvy parents can use a cell phone to check in and put your mind at ease. The latter works for care homes too as the service may not be as advertised.
Working out to improve health is a fact. In the same way, the sun will rise in the morning, exercise will keep your body fit and healthy. And, that means you’ll be in great shape and live a long and fulfilling life. The elderly aren’t exempt from exercise. If anything, they need to work out as much as younger people to prevent muscle atrophy and diseases from occurring.
The sad thing is that seniors don’t see it in the same way. Lots take the view that it’s their right to sit around and do nothing because they’ve earned downtime. As a result, 70% of men and women over the age of 70 never work out according to US News. Therefore, it’s your job to make sure they are active and don’t laze around all day. You don’t have to buy them a gym membership, but you should focus on the little things.
For example, go for a day out without the car. That way, they have to walk and get the blood pumping. Or, you can encourage them to take up a hobby that persuades them to go outside. Gardening is the ultimate example. Whether they are at home or in a nursing facility, try and take action. Not only is it good for their body but it’s a fantastic way to maintain their mental health too.
There are always issues that you want to take care of that but can’t because of the backlash. A driving license is a prime illustration. The old love to drive as it lets them keep their independence. With a car, they can run errands or visit friends without relying on other people or public transport. The problem is that it gets harder to operate a vehicle safely in their old age.
Once the eyesight and reflexes go, elderly drivers can be a deathtrap waiting to happen. The last thing you want is an accident, yet it’s not as if you can ban them – they’ll double down even if they know it’s for the best. A savvy solution is to find a compromise. Let them know that you are happy to drive them to keep them off the roads. As well as bonding, they don’t have to go through the stress of maintaining their focus and dealing with aggressive motorists.
If it’s financially feasible, you can hire a driver. Again, it’s a smart way to keep loved ones off the roads without them feeling as if they are a burden. When you have the conversation, be sure to sit everybody down and have a mature discussion. Never tell them what to do. Instead, explain your concerns and find a middle ground.
Find An Outlet
At times, it will feel as if life is getting on top of you and it can be a suffocating experience. Things pile up and it gets stressful when there is no end in sight. Caring for parents, whether they are living with you or not, is a full-time job. As a result, it’s one reason to get angry or frustrated when your plan goes awry.
The only option is to distance yourself from the problem. Don’t see it as running away because it’s not; it’s taking time for yourself. Without some “me” time, there is no way to recharge your batteries. So, it’s vital to share the responsibility of your loved ones’ health by splitting the tasks. Siblings should designate times when they will visit or help them run errands. It’s only a small thing yet it gives you a break from the monotony of the routine.
As long as you spend your time wisely, you can do anything. Sometimes, exercising is the key whereas others it’s about curling up on the sofa with a book.