Nurture the Golden Years: Support & Care of Elderly Parents at Home
There comes a time, as our parents age, when it becomes our turn to think about their well-being and safety at home. They have spent their lives caring for us and now it’s up to us to provide a nurturing and supportive environment for our parents that enhance their quality of life.
Here, we'll explore some essential tips that will help you navigate the journey of caring for your elderly parents at home.
Create a Safe and Accessible Living Space:
The home that your parents have grown so used to living in can gradually begin to pose safety risks as they age.
You can help minimise these risks and ensure your parent's home is as senior-friendly as it can be. Identify and prevent tripping hazards by installing grab bars in bathrooms, and providing adequate lighting throughout the home. Extra modifications such as ramps for wheelchair accessibility and bedrooms moved to lower floors can further reduce the risk for those with weakened mobility.
Establish a Consistent Routine:
After living long and fulfilling lives, routine and familiar daily activities will naturally occur for elderly people.
It’s important to promote this sense of stability when caring for your elderly parents to help maintain their sense of independence and freedom. You can do this by establishing a daily schedule for meals, medication, and the activities they love. This will help create a comfortable and familiar environment for your elderly parents.
Encourage Regular Exercise:
The most common cause of physical deterioration as people age is lack of exercise. This doesn’t mean you need to sign your elderly parent up for monthly gym memberships and bootcamp sessions though.
Simply encouraging physical activity such as daily walks, chair exercises, or yoga can go a long way toward preventing common health issues and maintaining mobility. Find some activities that meet your parents’ fitness levels and work them into your weekly plans to keep them active, and healthier for longer.
Prioritise Mental and Emotional Well-being:
Keeping the body young is one thing, but the mind is just as important. Evidence suggests that when a person’s mind is no longer engaged in meaningful activities, it can begin to lose its edge. With conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s being more likely the older we get, it’s important to ensure your parents are getting the mental stimulation they need with activities like puzzles, board games, or reading a good book.
Nurseplus Care at home can offer Dementia Care packages that will give you professional support when you need it.
You can also support your parents’ emotional well-being by being sure to spend quality time engaging in conversations, asking them about their past, recounting fond memories from growing up, or pursuing shared hobbies together.
Ensure Proper Nutrition:
It’s easy to fall into unhealthy habits as we age, and a healthy diet can become less of a priority because as we get older we know what we like.
You can help your parents stay healthy by making sure they have a well-balanced diet. You can pre-prepare nutritious meals for them, or with them, that can cater to their dietary restrictions or existing health conditions.
It's also wise to remember that regular hydration is equally important, so always encourage a steady intake of water throughout the day.
Stay on Top of Medical Needs:
More frequent doctors’ appointments are fairly inevitable as we get older. It’ll be up to you to help keep track of medical appointments, medications, and any prescribed treatments when caring for your elderly parents.
Create medication schedules that you can share with homecarers and other family members and set up reminders for your parents to ensure they are taking their medications as and when directed. Regular check-ups with healthcare professionals are also vital for preventive care.
Address Loneliness and Social Isolation:
Loneliness can have serious physical effects on the health of the elderly. In fact, social isolation and loneliness have been linked to heart disease, stroke, depression, anxiety, and even early death.
You can help combat the effects of loneliness and isolation by arranging social interactions, meetings, and visits with your elderly parents. You could explore community programmes, encourage visits from friends and family, or find new ways for your parents to engage with others with local walking groups and book clubs.
Nurseplus Care at home offers Companionship Care packages to help combat the effects of loneliness and support you in caring for your elderly parents.
Even though you may feel like caring for your elderly parents is solely up to you, remember they can still do some things for themselves. Try not to let your parents become dependent on you and work on promoting a sense of independence.
You can do this by involving your parents in any decision-making processes and daily activities to the best of their abilities and be sure any tasks they can handle they do themselves. This will help maintain a positive self-image and foster a sense of accomplishment and dignity.
Prepare for the Future:
Even though you might have plenty of time to spend with your elderly parents now, planning for the future will provide clarity and avoid complications as life inevitably goes on. Make things easier on yourselves by having what may seem like difficult conversations earlier.
Take time to sit down and discuss any legal and financial matters with your parents. This can include wills, powers of attorney, and advance healthcare directives but the smaller things too. Knowing who to contact to notify of their passing, gaining access to mobile phones, and where important documents like birth and marriage certificates are might save stress and complications when they are no longer around.
At Nurseplus Care at home, our teams have plenty of experience in providing care in later life. We can offer you advice and guidance on how and when to have these conversations and give you an idea of what to ask.
Build a Support System:
It’s true, caring for elderly parents at home can be emotionally and physically demanding but you don’t need to take it all on yourself.
Establish a support system with others. Reach out to friends and family members so you can share the responsibilities of care and avoid burnout. If you don’t look after yourself, you’ll never be able to look after your parents and give them the care they deserve.
Our staff can signpost you towards to local authorities, charities, clubs, and community associations for any additional support you'll need or want. Our branches have spent time building up local partnerships within our caring communities and will be happy to provide you with contacts and information on ways to support your loved one that will help them and you.
Nurseplus Care at home can offer Respite Care packages to give you a break from caring for elderly parents.
How we can support and care for your elderly parents together
When you are thinking about caring for elderly parents at home, it’s best to take a thoughtful and holistic approach. Let Nurseplus Care at home help you to create a safe and supportive environment, prioritise physical and mental well-being, build a robust support system, and help ensure your loved one’s age with dignity and grace in the comfort of their own home.
The team at Nurseplus Care at home knows that each family's situation is unique, so we’ll be happy to work with you and adapt these tips and build a care plan to fit the specific needs and circumstances of you and your loved ones.
Posted-on February 09, 2024 By Nurseplus Care at home