Having older adults at home is a privilege. You can look after them, tend to their needs, and get their love and blessings in return. Active older adults like to share their life experiences, positive and negative, and give us guiding lessons; no book can match. Caring for elderly parents at home is a great feeling and a responsibility you should be prepared for.
But for some adult children, caring for the elderly at home can be a problem when away from a market or workplace. Arranging groceries and medicines may not be possible every time and in emergencies. Neighbors may not be around the clock to help your aged parents in your absence. No need to panic. There are ways to look after your old parents when you aren’t home. Senior Companionship (paid or volunteer) is an option you can look up to provide a consistent human presence in a senior’s life. Here are some tips to follow right away.
Hire A Home Care Volunteer
Companionship services offer to take seniors for walks, to events, or send someone over to give you company in the absence of people at home. As families go nuclear, paid non-medical care is becoming a trend for most senior citizens. A home care volunteer comes over once every few days to help senior parents with their work and to talk to them when they feel lonely. You can book a professional home care volunteer to take your aging parents or grandparents to the bank, grocery shop, doctor, or friends’ place.
Home care volunteers work like extended friends or family. They chat, mingle, assist your elderly parents in bed-and-bath, and take them out for walks.
Arrange For A Professional Cook
The elderly risk getting malnutrition in your absence. They may not have the strength to stand in the kitchen and cook, dishwasher, or serve themselves. This may make them skip meals and keep their eating restricted to unhealthy food items like chips, biscuits, sandwiches, and colas. Processed foods lack nutritional value and can lead to cholesterol, diabetes, and other health problems.
Hire an able cook to provide easy-to-ready meals for your old parents. Give them dietary restrictions to follow in cooking. Tell them the preferred dishes, ingredients to choose from, and meal timings to ensure a safe eating experience for the elderly.
Keep Your Old Parents Activity-Engaged
Living independently may seem a good idea for elderly parents, but managing can become daunting. Enroll your old parents in a religious, social, recreational, or charitable organization or cause to keep their minds active and occupied in an engaging task. Reach out to influential organizations to help your aged parents use their free time on meaningful tasks.
Find a Rotary organization near you to enroll your parents in a social cause. Look up humanitarian causes in your residential area, like blood banks, child welfare, and so forth, and get your old parents to join the same part-time. This will make them devote their minds to welfare causes and give them a sense of pride.
Ensure Their Home Safety
Modern-day families look for ways to help aging relatives at home live safely and comfortably. You must arrange home safety essentials to prevent any senior member’s untimely fall or injury. Consider installing a step-free entryway and bathroom accessibility features like a grab bar and shower seat.
Have a secure area for domestic pets as the older members move around the house to prevent tripping. Get additional lighting like sensor lights deployed to reduce chances of falls with increasing age. Give wider hallways and wheelchair-accommodating doors a serious thought. Make home furnishings, flooring, and decor age-friendly. Get the architect’s advice on durable house materials and a tasteful color scheme that will blend with the seniors’ tastes.
Provide Safe Transportation Access
Older adults face hurdles in smooth movement on the road. They may drive less frequently or not drive at all. Lack of access to a personal vehicle may make them rely on family members and caregivers for outdoor trips to nearby and distant places. Lack of transportation may also impact health and well-being because of missed or delayed healthcare appointments.
Put in research and effort to get a safe transportation system for the elderly at home. Tie-up with a cab service for home pickup and drop facility for the comfort of seniors at home. Check tariffs and service networks before engaging a cab-hire company.
Keep Financial Considerations In Mind
Caring for the elderly may seem financially impossible to younger family members. Arranging for finances for their medical care and transportation, caregivers may look unaffordable beyond a point of time to some. However, multiple market resources are available, and looking after elderly health may not require dramatic investments.
Check health insurance plans for the old parents in consultation with an insurance adviser. It will provide financial and mental relief to you and the aging family members. Talk to your old parents about the financial help options available to reach common ground.
Identify Helpers Early On
Caregiving isn’t a small task. It involves massive responsibility and gets difficult as your parents cross the median age. Hence, you need to find caregivers in advance for better management. Get the entire family involved in identifying experienced caregivers and helpers and depute them on scheduled days or times of the year.
Consider contributing to a general fund to support professional in-home caregivers as needed. Share the responsibilities and onus with family members for optimal solutions in senior caregiving.
There will be plenty of times when you will feel energy-deprived to meet your parents’ needs. Talk to a home care agency when you smell excess physical discomfort and ill health in your old parents. It will give you the confidence and ability to handle problems and help needy seniors. Be flexible in your approach, and things will fall into place.