15 Real Life Tips To Better Take Care of Elderly Parents
(In no particular order)
1.If possible, have them live near or with you.
2.Check on them daily if they can still live and function independently.
3.Let them use Daily Medication Charts to check off their meds as they take them and to keep tally of the cups of liquids they drink so they do not get dehydrated. I have made up my own template based on my mom’s meds and I can just run copies off when I need them.
4.Ask them questions to check their memories.
5.Do a daily walk through of their home/apt. to make sure everything is working properly and in place.
6.Do a daily inspection of their face, how they’re walking, their demeanor, attitude, emotions.
7.Check their checkbooks and bills to make sure they are being paid on time.
8.Do a daily check of their banking accounts online to make sure all is ok.
9.Place home-cooked meals into their freezer that address their needs such as Low-Salt, Low Sugar, Low-Fat and label.
10.The way you care for your elderly parents will be noticed by your own children and hopefully they will be there for you when you age.
11.Reinforce that they look at the Caller ID before picking up the phone and not every phone call must be picked up. Let them know calls can go onto the answering machine and be screened. There are too many scam artists preying on our elderly. Reinforce to your parents that they are not to give out information on the phone and always check with you, the Caregiver, first.
12.Caregivers must take care of themselves; Know when to rest; Know when to take a day off, if/when possible; Read; Relax; Nourish your souls, body and mind.
13.Remember everyday how lucky you are to have a parent or parents alive.
14.Don’t beat yourself up if you get frustrated; you’re human.
15.Say “I Love You” to: your parents, yourself in the mirror, your spouse and children and grandchildren, good friends.
I am 60 years old and the only child of my 89 year old widowed mom. She moved into my town over 17 years ago and is less than 5 minutes away. Since I am retired, I am lucky that I can be there every single day, several times a day if necessary. My husband, a very caring and nurturing person, is also available to help my mom, though he still has a 9-5 job, but it’s in town. That makes a huge difference!
Taking care of our aging parents can be quite stressful, very stressful, because we always want to protect them: from falls, from colds, from airborne illnesses, from infection, from everything!
I feel blessed that mom is still around. She has always been close to her 2 grandchildren and they call her often and come into see her as well.
The above tips are just tips like tips you’ve read in magazines and elsewhere; they don’t address parents in nursing homes or hospitals or parents with dementia or Alzheimer’s or parents receiving Medicaid or parents too wealthy for Medicaid. The tips do not include wearing any monitoring devices or having them in your parent’s home. (My mom doesn’t want any of those things.) They’re just tips based on what I do for my still-independent, still-cognizant, still-strong-willed Mom, whom I love very, very deeply. I’m sure many of you can come up with your own tips based on your own experiences as Caregivers and I would love to hear and share them!