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The Ultimate Guide To Helping Your Parents As They Get Older

We all like to think of our parents as we remember them when we were little. They were active, playful, fun, and energetic. Now that you’re an adult yourself, the chances are that you see the signs of aging in your parents.

Perhaps they are a little less mobile, they might be getting more forgetful, and they might have a few more aches and niggles than before. It might be time for a role reversal to take place. Whereas they were once the provider, nurturer, and carer, this is now your job. Take a look at how you can help your parents as they get older.

Helping your parents while keeping their Independence

The chances are that your parents will want to keep their independence for as long as possible. It’s up to you to help them achieve this. Get in touch with local organizations and care groups to assess their immediate surroundings.

A simple tweak of worktop heights, a ramp installation, and a stairlift may be all they need if their physical environment is impacting their quality of life. If they struggle with their hearing, learn more about a hearing test and get them a listening aid to help them in social situations. Sometimes, the smallest adaptation to their lives can enable them to remain independent.

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Do they need extra care?

If there is more than just a physical impairment, you will need to consider the best care path for your parents. If they struggle with memory or are showing signs of dementia, they may need more one-to-one care. Staying within their home may see them become a danger to themselves and others. If you need to investigate care homes and nursing, you must involve them in the process. Doing things on their behalf without them knowing, however well-meaning this might be, can leave them feeling betrayed and left out.

Getting older can be scary, so you need to ensure that they have an input into their future. Visit nursing homes together, chat with the staff and meet the residents. You need to make sure that the home also has the foundations for the right level of care for your parents. Care plans should be in place for the individual and ensuring that the home has one that you and your parent are happy with may take time.

Care plans are not a one size fits all approach – a care plan for parkinson disease will be vastly different from a mobility care plan, so ensure that your parent is on board with everything they offer. There will be one that your parents like, so don’t rush them. Moving into care is a massive life shift and can leave them faced with their own mortality. Give them time and space to adjust.

Moving in With You

If their needs aren’t too great but they cannot live on their own, perhaps having them move in with you could be an option. For little ones, there’s nothing better than having their grandparents live with them. The family dynamic will shift, and the idyll that you have in your head may not be realized.

It takes a while to adjust to somebody new living with you. Your parents will also have to get used to a noisier and busier household. Ensure that you give them their own space and don’t smother them. You also need to ensure that you have the time to provide care as and when your parents need it. If needs change or medical intervention is required, your parent may need to move into a care home at a later date.

Seeing our parents grow old can be tough. However, by following this guide, you can ensure that they remain happy and fulfilled for as long as possible.

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