If your old parents need help to stay healthy and safe, you might be uncertain about how to handle the circumstances. Understanding the options, figuring out their needs, and making decisions can feel overwhelming. Concentrating on something concrete helps you feel more in control of the state. Here are eight things I learnt while Taking Care of My Aging Parents
- It is imperative to find out, as soon as possible, the names and phone numbers of their doctors and all the medications they take regularly.
- Do they have a Living Will. If not, what are their wishes if they are in severe condition and can’t speak for themselves? Whatever their pick, it should be signed and in writing.
- Don’t attempt to handle everything alone. If you have no siblings or are unwilling to help, ask your parent’s doctor for recommendations, look for agencies specialising in senior care, and check elderly care websites.
Find products made for elderly or disabled people so that they can maintain their freedom longer. Two such lifesaving products I found to be extremely helpful were: a fold-up wheelchair and a wheeled walker w/seat.
- If your mom or dad does wind up in the rehab, hospital, or nursing home – talk to the staff. Ask questions -about treatment about medicines and medications about any tests being done about the results of those tests about anything you see that is not “normal” for your parent. Your loved one, parents, in this case, gets better treatment when the doctors see that you’re genuinely paying attention (respectfully and diplomatically – not belligerently), And since mistakes do happen, staying vigilant could prevent serious consequences.
- When people have a severe hearing impairment, speaking LOUDER does NOT always solve the problem. It may be that the person cannot hear specific sounds – such as sh, ch, or several others. Substituting different words, speaking slower, rephrasing a sentence, and facing the person all may have safer results than screaming.
- The “experts” (dietitians, doctors, etc.) who claim that the only way to live a good healthy life is to eat vegetables and stay away from sugar don’t “know it all.” My father is 90 years old – eats cake at every meal and refuses to eat any salad or vegetables. And, he is neither diabetic nor is he obese. Go figure!
- In caring for your old parents – diplomacy, patience, and love go a long way – but sadly, if that doesn’t work, you have to use deception to keep them from hurting themselves or others.
- A sense of humor is important.