As we get older, it often becomes more difficult for us to manage our own homes, participate in daily tasks. and enjoy our lives like we would want to. Older people might begin to struggle more at home as they deal with less mobility, decreased socialization, and health conditions that can threaten their ability to look after themselves. This might be something that you have noticed with your elderly parent. Whether you are currently caring for them or have recently noticed a decline and want to do what you can to make it easier for them to cope, here are some steps to consider.
See the Doctor:
The first step is to make an appointment for your parent with their doctor. Some of the signs that they are struggling to cope at home could signify the early onset of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, especially if you have noticed that they are more forgetful or confused than usual, are struggling to communicate, having money problems, or often losing items by putting them in unusual places. Their doctor will be able to perform an evaluation to either rule out these conditions or diagnose them and start them on treatment as early as possible, which can relieve some of the symptoms, make it easier for them to cope at home, and help them stay independent for longer.
In some cases, living at home could be dangerous for your parent if they are seriously struggling to cope. In other circumstances, they may benefit from living in a place where they have easy access to care, support, activities, and a social life. There are many reasons to consider encouraging your parent to move to a community for senior living Aliso Viejo such as Belmont Village if they are struggling to cope in their own home. Access to caregivers for help and support, smaller homes that are easier to manage, an activity timetable, and being surrounded by like-minded people are just some of the main benefits that can help your parent thrive.
In some cases, you might find that your parent is stubborn about moving away and wants to stay in their own home for as long as possible. This is certainly doable as long as they are safe there, however, they may benefit from some in-home care and support. This allows seniors to remain as independent as possible and stay in surroundings that they are familiar with, while still having access to people who can help them with everyday tasks and other things that they may be struggling with. At-home caregivers can live in with your parent or visit them daily to help them get ready, make meals, cleaning the house, and taking them out to enjoy activities and socializing. Along with this, it’s worth considering adapting their home to make it easier for them to live there, for example, adding a stairlift or a ground floor bathroom and bedroom.
Understand Their Emotions:
Your parent might become more depressed or anxious as they get older, especially if they are dealing with a loss of mobility, chronic health conditions, or the loss of loved ones. This can lead to feelings of fear and overwhelm them, which might cause them to become more withdrawn and isolated. One of the best things that you can do in this situation is simply listen to them, try and understand and empathize with the emotions that they are feeling and ease their concerns. Simply spending more quality time with your parent and letting them know that you are there to support them as they deal with the changes in their life can have an extremely positive effect.
Keep a Journal:
Keeping a daily journal can be useful to help you cope with the stress and pressure of looking after an aging parent, and it can also be quite helpful for you to use the journal to note down any changes in their behavior that you have noticed and how often this is happening, to spot the early signs of degenerative diseases and other serious mental conditions. Writing both positive and negative feelings down in a journal can help you deal with all the emotions and concerns that come with caring for an elderly parent, helping you become more present and able to help them by dealing with whatever is on your mind straight away.
When your parent is living at home, it can be stressful when you’re not able to be with them or have somebody with them at all times to ensure that they are OK. Thankfully there are several ways that you can use technology to provide you both with more peace of mind. For example, your parent may be able to wear a necklace or wristwatch that is connected to your phone, so that they can easily inform you or a caregiver at the press of a button if they have an accident at home or require immediate help. A medication dispenser can be useful for making sure that your parent takes the right medication at the right time, and you can use tablets and smartphones to be able to talk to them without having to be in the same house.
Take Time For Yourself:
Finally, getting some support for yourself when it comes to looking after your elderly parent is important and will make sure that you do not become overwhelmed with the responsibilities. If you are not able to move your parent to a retirement community or get in-home care help, it’s crucial that you are able to take time for yourself and seek support to help you through this journey. You might want to find or even start a local group where people who are caring for their elderly parents can meet to discuss ideas, concerns, and get support from like-minded people who understand what you are going through.
Watching a parent get older and begin to struggle to cope at home can be tough on anyone. Thankfully there are several things that you can do to make it easier on both of you.