Taking care of an elderly parent

21 Nov, 2021 - 00:11 0 Views
Taking care of an elderly parent

The Sunday Mail

Here are some pieces of advice for caregivers of elderly parents to help you adjust:

Assess how much

care is needed

Your first and most important step is to assess how much care an elderly parent needs. Be wary of taking on too much responsibility too early on. This is a fast-track way to become overwhelmed and you may quickly lose sight of the bigger picture or begin to overlook your own health.

Create a list of daily, weekly and monthly tasks to help you get a good idea of the type of care that is required. This will also give a clear picture of how much help is needed during the day, at night, or over weekends.

Be realistic

Once you have a clear idea of what your parent’s needs are, you need to assess how much of it you can handle without additional help.

If you know there are tasks that are out of your capacity, it is important to be honest about it with your parent and yourself.

Be realistic about how much care you can provide without sacrificing your own health, your relationships and other responsibilities.

Get the help you need

Remember that there is no shame in hiring the additional help you need. If you know you cannot do it all, but want to be able to provide the best possible care for your parent, then find the help you can afford.

Sourcing the best services may take time and effort initially, but it is an investment that will pay off down the line.

Additional support includes:

Enrolling your parent in an adult day programme which allows them to socialise, and you to rest

Hiring a caregiver that helps out around the house on a daily basis

Sourcing a volunteer senior companion who is willing to visit and take your parent out on excursions

Eliminating errands by buying caregiving supplies in bulk for home delivery

Share the load

Aside from asking for help with your caregiving tasks, it is also important to share the responsibility and take a break when you need it.

You may be doing a great job of caring for an elderly parent, but nobody is going to know you need help if you do not ask for it. It is fine to ask a sibling, a spouse, a close relative or friend to share your caregiving responsibility for a day or even a weekend.

Ready-made meal services

It is no secret that the nutritional needs of seniors are exceptionally important, especially if they are ill or fighting off disease. Many seniors are also at risk of malnutrition due to a lack of appetite, depression, anxiety and other factors.

Shopping for food and making every single meal from scratch can be a lot of work, so make the most of simple, tasty and affordable meal services in your area.

This means your kitchen is always stocked with ready-made meals so your elderly parent does not skip meals and meets
their nutritional needs on a daily basis.

Financial support

Caring for an elderly parent can really add up over time. This could eventually place a serious financial burden on your shoulders.

A good way to reduce the financial weight of caring for an elderly parent is to seek out the financial support you need before it all becomes too much.

Don’t neglect self-care

One of the most important aspects of caregiving is to
put yourself first before caring for others. If your health fails,
who will look after your loved ones?

Prioritise your self-care by nourishing your body with healthy, nutritious meals.

Make sure you get enough good quality sleep, drink plenty of water; if you have the time and energy, exercise at least three times per week. — Wires.

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