How to Look After Elderly Parents

Suppose your parents have become noticeably older overnight. In that case, it might be time to start thinking about how you can help them maintain a good quality of life in the near future. This might mean spending more time with them or helping them with daily tasks, like shopping and finances. In this post, we look at some of the most common issues you confront with elderly parents and how you can respond.  

Help Them With Daily Living 

When your parents start to get a bit older, or they suffer from a medical condition that restricts their life, it’s important to step in and help with daily living. This is sometimes called Assisted Daily Living (ADL). 

Even if your elderly parent is opposed to your assistance, you need to make their life as comfortable as possible. When you visit, offer to help with transport arrangements, financial planning, shopping, and meal preparation.  

Look After Their Safety

When parents get older, the risk of them injuring themselves with a fall is much higher. There is also a higher risk of them becoming sick due to lower immune systems responses. Other issues include financial vulnerability and driving concerns. 

Understand your elderly parent’s health and situation. Often there is a mental impact to new life restrictions for older people, so keep that in mind when offering advice or help. It’s more important that your relative is safe rather than mildly offended.

Monitor Health Issues

Health issues and concerns form a central part of life for people as they get older. Some people will have chronic conditions they have become used to over many years. Others will experience conditions for the first time and encounter limitations. 

To look after your elder parents, try to be aware of their health issues and concerns. Attend the medical practice with them and communicate with the doctors. This helps in two ways. First, it takes the pressure off your parents and keeps you involved in their treatments. 

Help Them With Financial Planning 

As we get older, our cognitive functions start to decline. We become less sharp, less focused, and less driven. This has a knock-on effect when it comes to finances and financial planning. Elderly parents may not have the motivation or the desire to look after finances adequately. 

This can be concerning. After all, your elderly parents need to be financially secure to remain comfortable and looked after. If you don’t have time to organize your finances yourself, consider hiring an accountant or an advisor to oversee things. 

Where Should They Live? 

This is the big question when it comes to looking after your elderly parents. Of course, there are many things to consider, such as the viability of “living in place” and the mental and emotional impact of moving into a nursing home. However, this might be the best option in some cases. 

If you decide to move your loved one into a nursing home, you want to make sure they are well looked after. Most nursing homes conform to high standards, but that isn’t always the case. There have been instances of neglect. If this happens, you should call a nursing home abuse attorney. 

Quality of Life

In reality, our quality of life diminishes as we get older. This is because we become less able to engage with the activities we once loved, and it can affect our mental and emotional wellbeing. But that doesn’t mean “quality of life” is unimportant; it has simply changed. 

You can help your elderly parents maintain their quality of life by encouraging them to connect socially or engage in suitable activities. This could mean local groups or small excursions with people in similar situations.     

Manage Relationship Dynamics

It can be tricky to relate to an elderly parent. The power dynamic changes, but they still view you as their child when it is them who needs looking after. This can be stressful and difficult for you and your elderly parent.  

It’s helpful to be aware of this changing dynamic, so you don’t get too upset with your parent’s behavior or comments. You can also gently remind them on occasions that they are getting older and need a little extra help. 

Final Thoughts 

Time catches up with all of us, and when it does, things change. We no longer have the strength and capability to live the life we want, which can be upsetting. If you have elderly parents, the task is to help them maintain a high standard of life with minimal intervention. But, of course, your level of intervention may well increase the older they become.