Golden Years: Caring For Aged Parentsaging
How To Care For Aged Parents
When did your parent get older?No one likes to think of their parents, or even grandparents as anything less than strong, capable and able to look after themselves. This is an issue I have grappled with this year as my mother grew ill. However, what many of us tend to forget, is that at the same time as we’re growing older so are they. That’s why proper senior care is essential!
Are You Medically Trained?
Being a nurse, doctor or even part-time caregiver gives you a whole host of skills including lifting, bathing, feeding, taking blood pressure and understanding medications that other people don’t have. Having a medical background, or some knowledge of senior care will help massively as older people tend to have complex needs based on their physical health, the level of mental acuity and even their emotional personality. Often caring for an older family member or relative will require specialist equipment including wheelchairs, hoists and possibly mobility aids for walking, bathing and even using the toilet.
Things Will Get Emotional
Most of us tend to have a good, close relationship with our parents or grandparents so obviously if they’re looking a little more fragile of late you’ll want to have them move in. Bear in mind that while you may think of checking out nursing homes or even daily carers at home may seem like taking the easy, or lazy way out looking after someone is a full-time job in itself. The roles have now been reversed; you aren’t the one looking for support, love, and attention, they are.
Not everyone has the ability, nor the time to take on such a demanding role especially those of us with young children or lots of social commitments. If you want an idea of what senior caregiving involves why not volunteer at a local nursing home? Look online or find a good center that’ll show you what day-to-day care is from feeding, changing bed sheets and preparing meals to dressing someone who may not want help or can’t remember if they’ve already had breakfast.
Logistics Aren’t Easy
Firstly, your home may structurally not be suitable for aged parents to move in long term. Often, elderly relatives need a bedroom, and sitting room to themselves as noise in the main lounge can be too much. They also need access to a downstairs bathroom that’s been adapted so they can get in and out the bath and off the toilet without too many problems.
Not everyone’s home is built to accommodate these needs and it will affect both the aesthetic and daily running of your house. Secondly, you need to have a huge amount of free time just to be able to keep your aged parents company, let alone do extra cooking, laundry and medical tasks like giving them medication.
Sharing With Siblings
Electing to be your aged parents primary caregiver shouldn’t be a decision that’s taken lightly and if you’re doing 95% of the work what about your brothers and sisters? People tend to either feel super guilty that one person, due to space, lifestyle or simply medical knowledge has taken on this commitment. So they either give them financial assistance when stepping in to allow the caregiver to take a break would be better, or they see it as not their problem and selfishly ignore the issue until asked for money.