When our parents start to age, we become suddenly aware that it’s time for the roles to reverse and for us to take care of them. This can be really hard, and it’s difficult to now what measures to consider at which point. There is a balance to be found between providing care and support and allowing our parents to maintain their lifestyles and independence. So, we’ve put together this list to help you organise your thoughts on providing support for your elderly parents.
- Find the right care
At a certain point, you may have to consider finding care for your elderly parents when they begin to find it harder to manage on their own. For some people this can feel like just putting off the inevitable idea of putting their parents in a home, but actually there are some fantastic senior in home care options out there which would allow your parents to stay in their homes while receiving the care they need to continue living independently, but safely.
- Allow them to maintain control
As much as it may begin to feel like your responsibility to account for your parents’ health and happiness, as long as they are mentally capable it is important to keep them involved in decisions about their lives. At the end of the day it is their life, home, and bodies, over which everyone should have control as long as possible. Getting older can be frustrating and scary enough without also having your agency stripped away from you too.
- Make medical equipment homely
Though having medical equipment such as an adjustable chair or stairlift may be necessary for elderly parents, having unsightly medical equipment in their home can be unnerving and unpleasant. One idea might be to reupholster such equipment using a service like SunPan, so that the equipment fits into the aesthetic of the home and can serve its helpful purpose while simultaneously fitting into the home and maintaining the illusion of days gone by for as long as possible.
- Keep pets
As long as it is at all feasible, it is important to keep any beloved pets in the home as long as possible. Though they may be difficult to look after and add some logistical issues to the situation, pets are a part of the family which provide much needed companionship, and additionally a sense of responsibility and necessity which can often be lacking from an elderly person’s life. As long as it is safe and possible, pets should absolutely remain in the home as long as possible.
- Ensure a busy social schedule
Oftentimes, the elderly end up spending too much time alone and away from the rest of society. While there’s nothing wrong with enjoying home comforts and the easy life in your later life, it’s unhealthy to exist in isolation and therefore it’s important to ensure your elderly parents keep occupied. They may be capable of organising this themselves, but if not, you can easily find plenty of local classes and activities to join them up to which should ensure that they enjoy plenty of social interaction.
Providing support for your elderly relatives is difficult, but it isn’t impossible to make the best decisions for them. Hopefully, some of the considerations on this list will help you during this transition phase.