5 Tips for Caring for Elderly Parents
Many adult children wonder what support their aging parents may need in their day-to-day life and how they can help provide it for them, especially if they live in a different city or state. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to help alleviate some of those concerns.
Recognize the Risks
It may be difficult for some older adults to complete tasks they were once able to with ease, particularly if they live alone. That could include taking medications correctly (and one time), multitasking, getting help in the event of an emergency, or managing their finances.
Being aware of these common concerns can be an important first step in doing everything you can to help support them.
Prepare for Cognitive Decline
Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia affect more than 5 million adults aged 65 and older, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. You can help support your loved one by understanding their current cognitive abilities and noting any risks they may face.
Consider setting up a routine for your parents’ day-to-day lifes.This could include setting up a recurring social engagement or get together with you and other family members. This need may become even more crucial if their cognitive health has deteriorated.
Equip Aging Parents for Medical Emergencies
Older adults that live alone are vulnerable to falls and other medical emergencies. If you live out of state, you may have concerns about your parents being able to act quickly in ensuring they get emergency medical attention when they need it.
To help your parents respond to emergencies, consider using a medical alert system. With a medical alert system, emergency assistance is available at just a push of a button.
Prevent Household Injury
Household injury is a major risk for seniors, especially those who live alone. Remove all potential hazards, including unsecured electrical cords, household products and chemicals, or loose rugs from their home. Fix broken handrails on staircases, install grab bars in bathtubs, and ensure there is adequate lighting in their home. Taking steps now could help your loved one avoid a preventable injury.
Plan for Meals
Older adults, especially those that live with memory issues, may not eat regularly. Without adequate nutrition, they may fall ill, or any current condition may worsen. Many seniors across the United States are food insecure. Fortunately, there are certain Medicare Advantage grocery benefit programs as well as other free or inexpensive meal delivery services, such as Meals on Wheels, that deliver nutritious meals to seniors.
Parents who are aging can become a source of worry in many people’s lives, as it can be difficult to make sure they are living safely and comfortably at all times. But by using simple strategies and available tools, families can help ensure their aging loved one’s well-being is looked after, giving them more peace of mind.