In the US, 44% of caregivers are providing help to their elderly parents. So if you’re a caregiver yourself, there’s a very good chance you’re taking care of your mom and/or dad. And if you’re new to this, then you might be wanting some advice for caregivers of elderly parents.
Of course, you know your parents best. But still, there are some general elderly care tips that can help immensely, relieving stress for everyone involved.
If you could use some tips for caring for the elderly at home, then you’re in the right place. Read on for six expert tips that’ll help keep everyone happy.
1. Make the House Safer and More Accessible
As we get older, our mobility decreases. What used to be a simple task can end up becoming difficult and even dangerous if the proper precautions aren’t put into place. And what might be a small injury for a younger person can be quite serious for seniors, like a broken hip from slipping and falling.
When it comes to how to care for an elderly parent in your home, one of the first things you want to do is make the house safer and more accessible for them.
They don’t have to be big adjustments, either. For example, if they regularly use something in the house, simply move it somewhere that’s closer to the ground where your parents don’t have to go far to reach it. Or put in anti-slip shower mats so your parents won’t fall in the shower or bath.
2. Make Sure They Eat Healthily
Senior citizens can be particularly at risk for malnutrition. So while your parents are under your care, you need to keep a good eye on what they’re eating so they stay healthy and strong.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to make gourmet meals for your parents. Instead, our advice for caregivers of elderly parents is to either cook easy and healthy meals or order from food delivery services. If you choose the latter, many services are affordable and deliver boxes of ingredients with recipes so you can cook quickly.
You can even make cooking into a fun activity to do together! These food boxes often come with meal options you’ve never considered before, so it can be an exciting way to explore the culinary world.
3. Make Sure They Stay Fit
In addition to eating healthy, your parents should also do their best to get outside and stay fit. If you’re wondering how to care for aging parents in this regard, you can set aside some time in your busy schedule to go on walks or do yoga together.
You can also browse local fitness classes that are geared specifically toward seniors. Not only can your parents get out of the house and stay active, but they might be able to also make some friends in their own age group!
4. Help Them Be Social
Building on the last point, it’s important for your senior parents to not only stay active, but also keep up a healthy social life. Senior loneliness is a real thing, and it can be the catalyst for other mental and physical illnesses.
Even though you’re there for them a lot, you’re not there all the time. So an important part of senior care advice is to help your parents have an active social life.
Enrolling them in senior fitness classes is definitely a start. You can also help them get to church or other activities they may be interested in.
5. Make Sure to Take Care of Yourself
Your parents have done so much for you to raise you to adulthood. So you feel like you owe it to them to make some sacrifices and care for them in their old age.
Of course, this is an excellent thing to do, but caretaker burnout is a very real thing. If you burn out, then you won’t be running at full capacity. And when you’re not running at full capacity, caring for your parents at home will be next to impossible when you can barely muster enough energy to take care of yourself.
Make sure to schedule some “me” time where you can take a break from your caretaker duties and do something for yourself. Even a small break can be enough to re-energize yourself.
6. Get Help If Needed
On that note, caring for your parents can become overwhelming, especially if you’re the single caretaker for both of them. When it comes to taking care of aging parents tips, one of the best ones we can give you is this: get help if you need it!
You might feel like it’s admitting defeat, but in reality, it’s only helping both you and your elderly parents. These trained professionals can help with things like:
In fact, they’re likely more qualified than you are in elderly care. So by enlisting the help of some professional caretakers, you’ll be providing the best at-home care for aging parents.
Take This Advice for Caregivers of Elderly Parents
With this advice for caregivers of elderly parents, hopefully, you’ll now navigate looking after the elderly a lot easier.
There may come a time when you just can’t take care of both yourself and your older parents, and that’s perfectly fine. In that case, you’ll want to consider options for elderly care at home.
For instance, there are professional caregivers (such as Commonwise) who can come to your parents’ house on their schedule. We can do anything from hourly to around-the-clock care.
Are you considering home care for your aging parents? If so, read more about our at home care services or call our Care Team today at 434.202.8565.
Disclaimer: Please check with your physician before making any changes to your diet, exercise, or medication routine.