A Basic Guide to Taking Care of an Aging Parent

When parents get older, we begin thinking about role reversals. The people who cared for us need increasing amounts of care, and it falls on us to ensure their safety and wellbeing. 

While some older adults need nursing home-level care, many can still maintain a sense of independence with the help of loved ones. Taking on this responsibility requires some understanding of what they need.

Read on to learn the essentials for taking care of an aging parent.

Health Status

Between the ages of 55 and 75, chronic health conditions develop for many people. After the age of 65, 23% of people live with 3 or more chronic health conditions like asthma, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, COPD, and heart disease.

When caring for the elderly, you must know their health status and how to handle it. What do they need to maintain their condition?

Your loved one may need a number of medications. Administering medicines comes with a number of considerations:

  • Giving the proper dosage at the correct time
  • Knowing potential drug interactions
  • Keeping a list of current medications and allergies
  • Administering it safely, like crushing pills into apple sauce

Missing doses, overdosing, or making other mistakes can result in serious health consequences or death. You must also know what to watch for and when to call a doctor with any health conditions they live with.

Daily Needs

What does your loved one need help with daily? When caring for the elderly, create a detailed daily care schedule to make sure important tasks do not fall by the wayside.

Put all tasks on the list, including the ones they can do independently. This helps everybody stay on the same page.

Include activities like:

  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Bathing
  • Personal hygiene
  • Toileting
  • Medications

Keeping track ensures they keep a good quality of life at home.

Entertainment

Staying mentally sharp requires regular activities. Plus, entertainment makes for an excellent quality of life. 

Make sure your parent gets to do things they love, like play games, listen to music, and make crafts. Most independent living facilities provide fun activities throughout the day that you can attend with your loved one.

Socialization

If you choose to take care of an aging parent, consider the amount of social interaction they receive. Socialization for older adults helps fight depression and anxiety and helps them maintain quality of life.

While choosing to keep a loved one in their own home offers a sense of independence, it can also get very isolating. Family members with the best intentions to visit still carry on lives of their own.

This can burn them out, making visits feel burdensome rather than enjoyable. Plus, life is always better with peers around for conversation.

Senior Living Options

When deciding whether or not you can care for your loved one, consider everything listed in this guide. Can you manage everything, and will anybody else help out? You have multiple senior living options.

When home care is not an option, many people enjoy the benefits of independent living for seniors. These facilities give them privacy while keeping them close to their peers and making assistance readily available.

You can add on memory care when necessary to keep your loved one safe. Some adults need a higher level of care and go into a nursing home.

Taking Care of an Aging Parent

Taking care of an aging parent often feels like the right thing to do. But, sometimes that means reaching out for the appropriate help so that you do not get overwhelmed and they live their best life. Family life is beautiful. Find more tips for making the most out of life with your loved ones on our website!

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