If your kids are fortunate to have gramps and grams in their lives, you’re probably well aware that your parents aren’t getting any younger. As they age, it’s now your turn to return the favor and take care of them. But it’s not easy. It needs lots of compassion and patience. Simple things like bed handles for seniors can prove very useful.
Evaluate the Situation
When you become more heavily involved in taking care of your parents, take a step back to evaluate the situation. This means understanding their current emotional and physical states, along with their finances. It’s important to gauge their health and anticipate how it will impact themselves and those around them as they age. Decide how and who will be providing medical support, discussing everything from the medical bills to if you need to hire additional help. Having a foundation and collective agreement of how the situation will be handle right of the bat will help to avoid unnecessary family drama later down the road.
Encourage Mental Stimulation
As a caregiver, it’s your job to encourage cognitive stimulation for your parents. Mentally challenging activities can help to prevent Alzheimer’s Disease. Get the kids to do puzzles with them or join the fun yourself by playing games like chess. You can even enroll them in classes at a community recreation center so that they are constantly learning and exercising their minds.
Socialize with Them
Growing old can be an isolating feeling. Organizing social activity can help keep your parents emotionally and mentally healthy. Perhaps it registering them for weekly BINGO with other senior citizens or putting together a regular family dinner. Whatever it may be, try to find new ways to socialize with them to make them feel like they aren’t alone.
Maintain Constant Connection
Unlike the old days when the older generation had no internet or smart gadgets, the modern world offers many tools and technologies that can be used to a caregiver’s advantage. The GreatCall Lively Mobile medical alert device is perfect for any elderly person who’s being looked after. Have your parents wear it wherever they go to make sure they are doing well anytime you’re not with them. It’s built in medical alert system lets the user call for help if something happens, such as an accidental fall or emergency. The Lively Mobile tracks their geographic location and sends notifications to others right away, so you can stay constantly connected and get them the help they need, immediately.
Tap into Resources
Let’s face it, most parents trying to take care of their parents are new to it. For those looking for information that specializes in caregiving, use AARP’s Caregivers in the Community (CINC) mobile app as a resource. It’ll provide advice on everything from how to deal with financial support to the emotional stress of taking care of an aging parent. Another useful tool and resource is CareZone. This app connects families onto one platform to coordinate information about medications and doctor appointments, as well as gives access to the Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 helpline.
Practice Patience and Flexibility
Understand that your parents are going through a tough time and also know it’s okay that this will most likely be a tough time for you and the rest of the family. By practicing patience and flexibility, you can lower frustrations that come from not always getting it “right” and gain a clearer mind to find a solution that works when it comes to taking care of the parents.
Your children’s grandparents won’t around forever, but you can do your best to keep them here and healthy for as long as possible. Caring for aging parents is an opportunity to show them your gratitude for all the years they took care of you. With proactive involvement and useful tools along with patience and flexibility, you can give the proper care your parents can appreciate as they grow old.