Tips on Caring for Your Elderly Parent

There comes a time in a lot of adult’s lives when roles are reversed and you will be required to give care to your elderly parent. For many, this can be a stressful, isolating time but with support, you can learn to deal with this period of your life positively and productively. Here are some tips on providing care to your elderly parent.

Get the Support You Need
The first thing to remember is that you are not on your own. There are many organisations that deliver a whole range of elderly care at home. As well as these, there are family and friends who will only be too willing to help if things are getting too much to you. When it is necessary, delegate tasks relating not just to your elderly parent but your immediate family such as picking the kids up from school or washing the car.

Prevent health issues
As your parents get older, pain becomes part of their lives. To prevent falls and avoid pain, you may invest in shoes and slippers. Because their feet change shape with ageing, shoes can become uncomfortable and painful. Good shoes mean better stability and a lower risk of falls.

Make things practically easier

If your parents are struggling with limited mobility then take a look into practical things that might be able to help with this such as stairlifts at home and wheelchair accessible vehicles (which can either be bought or hired through websites such as Allied Mobility). 

Assess the Situation
Your local social services will be able to help you assess the care needs of your parent. You should be involved in this process and it will give you a useful road map on the level of care which is likely to be needed.

Change Your Perspective
Martha Beck thinks we should take a leaf out the Navajo tribe’s book and look at caring for someone at the edge of life as a soulful experience. This means working as a unit with your family members and paying your elderly parents the reverence they deserve.

Use the Resources Available to You
Even if all sorts of physical and emotional challenge await you, there is a wealth of information available to you. Use your local library, the internet and advice of friends who are going through a similar experience to guide you.

Be Realistic
Things will get difficult and all areas of your life will be impacted. You need to expect this from the beginning this but be reassured that you are doing a wonderful thing.

Consider the Benefits of Caring For Your Parent at Home
It may help to think about the plus points of caring for your parent at home in contrast to moving into a care home. These include less financial impacts, personally ensuring your parent is comfortable and spending quality time with your loved ones.

Recalling memories and reminiscing about old times has been proven to improve health and wellbeing. Use your time with your parent to talk about the old days – you’ll both enjoy it.

Take a Break
Knowing there is help and back-up out there, do not be afraid to take some time off. Have your regular holidays as normal. You will be less use to your parent if you are suffering from burn-out. 

1 comment

  1. Lovely post Alex. It's also useful to know that with the new Care Act coming into force in the next year, that there is going to be more emphasis on Carers and Carers Rights. Carers are an overused but under recognised group and finally they will be recognised as an integral part of caring for an ever increasing elderly population x