Seeing your parents age and become seniors can be a worrying period of your life, especially if they need more care than they used to. As their child, you will likely be concerned about what you can do to ensure that they can remain in good health and lead a happy life for as long as possible. To find out what steps you can take to support them, read on.
1. Research Retirement Living Options
Even if you can take time out from your own life to look after your parents, some seniors will need more care than others, and this might not always be aid that you can provide yourself. For instance, some older people develop dementia or Alzheimer’s, which can leave them unable to stay independent and can mean that they need round the clock care. Then, you should research senior living communities with your parents to find the right option for them and their needs. However, you should always make sure that they are included in the final decision, whatever this might be.
2. Take Notice of Their Symptoms
As their child, you cannot stop your parents from contracting many of the common conditions that they may be susceptible to in older age. All you can do instead is to take notice of their potential symptoms and any changes to them that may be indicators of problems. For instance, you should speak to your parents if you notice changes in mood, weight loss or loss of appetite, or a difference in the way that they move or speak. Raising these issues quickly can then help your parents to get the treatment that they deserve.
3. Give Them Reminders
Not many older adults have electronic apps to remind them of their medication or health needs, and so this responsibility may fall to you. Rather than leave your parents to their own devices, if they often forget to look after themselves, you should help to give them reminders about when they should exercise, eat, or take medication. You might also consider being there with them while they perform these tasks as encouragement.
4. Take Them to Check-Ups and Appointments
One of the major barriers to elderly people and the healthcare that they need is a lack of transport. Then, you should try to be available as much as possible to take them to important hospital appointments and check-ups, which will enable them to keep on top of their health issues. If you are not available, you should look at the different transportation services in your area.
5. Encourage Them to Look After Themselves
However, your parent is still an individual, and many seniors feel smothered by over-bearing children who want the best for them. In many ways, you should be looking to boost their independence, rather than take this away. Then, you should take measures to encourage your loved ones to take charge of their health, such as by finding exercise activities that they enjoy, or by making medical arrangements for themselves.