Top Tips and Advice for Adult Children Caring for Aging Parents at Home
It’s not uncommon for adult children to need help looking after elderly parents. Whether you’re a part- or full-time family caregiver, caring for aging parents can be challenging.
Are you an adult child wondering how to care for elderly parents?
Do you need some tips for taking care of parents at home?
Many adult children feel that they must care for their aging parents. Others may genuinely desire to provide the hands-on assistance their parents need. Regardless of your feelings or situation, taking care of your parents is most likely uncharted territory.
In this article, we’re sharing top tips and advice on how to take care of elderly parents. We’ll discuss some ways to handle the caregiver role and how to find home health care for elderly parents.
Keep reading to learn all about taking care of elderly parents at home.
The Top 4 Tips for How to Care for Elderly Parents
Every caregiving situation will be different. Your parents may need unique help or assistance, so there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to taking care of parents at home.
However, some tips and pieces of advice are beneficial to know regardless of your situation. Here are five things you can do to help ease your burden when caring for aging parents.
Tip #1: Monitor Your Parents’ Care Needs
Monitoring your parents’ needs is the first step to successfully taking care of your aging parents and providing them with the necessary care.
Before you ever step in to talk with your parents or address their care needs, observe and take notes. Look for areas of concern, safety hazards, difficulties with normal daily activities, or comments your parents make regularly.
- Are your parents more cautious when using stairs?
- Have you noticed a decrease in your parents’ functional mobility?
- Have your parents made comments about their fears with driving?
- Do your parents have trouble remembering to take medical prescriptions?
- Do they have any trouble dressing, bathing, or feeding themselves?
The above list isn’t exhaustive, and you may recognize things in your parents not listed here. But the main point is to take time to assess your parents’ life and living situation.
Once you understand your parents’ situation, you’ll know how to take care of your elderly parents better.
Tip #2: Increase Safety in Their Place of Residence
Increasing safety features in your parents’ residence is another positive action to take.
Some standard safety precautions that can go a long way in providing greater independence for your parents include:
- Tightening or installing handrails
- Placing non-slip mats or strips in the bathroom
- Cleaning clutter off the floor
- Replacing old or burned out light bulbs
- Replacing carpet or removing old rugs
- Installing a video or home monitoring system
Many precautions will involve mitigating falls, as they’re among the most common accidents in elderly adults. Ultimately, the goal is to ensure your parents are safe and secure in their home.
Tip #3: Provide Assistance with IADLs
Instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) aren’t fundamental to life, but they affect independent living. IADLs include such activities as:
- Shopping and buying necessities
- Cleaning and home maintenance
- Cooking and meal prep
- Finances and bill pay
- Running errands
In the earlier stages of caregiving for your elderly parents, your parents may still have the ability to do most daily tasks independently. But they may benefit from someone helping them out once in a while with these IADLs.
If your parents aren’t comfortable driving, picking up their groceries or other home goods for them every week could be a massive relief for them. Similarly, they might be unable to clean as regularly as they previously could. Spending one day a month helping them clean or maintain their home will ensure their living space doesn’t become too dirty or cluttered.
Tip #4: Don’t Neglect Your Self-care
When an adult child becomes a caregiver to aging parents, they often overlook their self-care. The demands of taking care of parents at home can become all-consuming, and it can feel like all your time is taken away. But you still need to maintain your physical, mental, and emotional health.
Some ways that you can practice self-care include:
- Exercising three times each week
- Setting aside one night each week for a spouse or friend
- Attending dental, medical, and other appointments
- Hiring an in-home caregiver (more on this next section)
It’s important to remember your health as you provide care to your parents. The better you care for yourself, the better you can take care of your loved ones.
Tip #5: Seek Help Caring for Aging Parents
Lastly, ask for help. Asking for help can be one of the most challenging things to do, but it’s also one of the most valuable.
Help could come in the form of:
- A sibling or family member
- Local friends
- A local senior center
- An adult daycare
However, one of the best options for in-home help looking after elderly parents is through a professional in-home caregiver. Many in-home care companies can provide short-term respite care or more extensive 24-hour care.
Respite care is perfect for adult children who are comfortable taking care of elderly parents at home but need some time away to handle personal matters.
24-hour care provides your parents with in-home caregivers during the day and night. Elderly adults suffering from dementia often benefit significantly from this type of full-time care.
The bottom line is that you don’t need to be the only one caring for your aging parents. Even if friends or family can’t help, you can always contact a local in-home care company.
Professional Caregiving for your Elderly Parents
Many adult children find themselves wondering how to care for elderly parents. If you find yourself in this position, you’re not on your own. There are many things you can do to help ease the burden of caring for aging parents.
Each family may have its unique situation, but there are a few things anyone taking care of elderly parents at home can do, including:
- Monitoring your parents’ needs
- Providing increased safety in their residence
- Assisting with IADLs
- Caring for yourself
- Finding help with caregiving
If available, in-home respite care or 24-hour care is an excellent way to give your loved ones the care they need while putting your mind at ease.
Commonwise Home Care is a premier provider of in-home care in Virginia and South Carolina. With offices in Charlottesville, Richmond, Williamsburg, and Charleston, you’re never too far from expert in-home help. Our staff is highly trained and prepared for mild or severe caregiving needs. We also offer in-home physical therapy for any elderly adults in need of rehab assistance regaining muscular strength.
Contact us today to talk with our Care Advisors. They’ll talk with you and provide insight into the care that’s best for your loved one.