Aging is a fact of life. Arriving at the point when you may one day be responsible for the care of your parents who once cared for you is one way the circle of life can complete. Geriatric care is not always easy. For older adults who come down with Alzheimer’s or dementia, memory loss makes care difficult. Other adults who are faced with the reality of their deteriorating bodies may become reclusive or angry and pose a series of other challenges.
If you decide to handle the care of your aging parents, here are three care tips to consider.
How you see your parents may not be the way they see themselves. These two points of view may not even be similar to the way their doctor views them, either. As you care for them, you are advised to avoid over-caring for them. Over-caring will seem like an intrusion into their independence, and for many older adults, independence is incredibly important. If they are still able to drive and do not pose a danger to others or themselves, let them drive. The longer they are able to care for themselves, the more young and vibrant they will feel. Remaining independent is actually good for their health and recommended as long as their doctor continues to approve.
Your parents are still your parents, so it is important to communicate with them with continued respect. When you check-in with them, discuss their diet, activities and upcoming events in a conversational tone. Engage with them with the way they would engage with you when you shared school or work news in your earlier years. Meaningful communication is how you will keep tabs on how they are feeling and whether or not they are isolating themselves from their peers.
Give them Space
If you care for your parents in your home, ensure that they have a space that is their own. Some older adults do not like the idea of giving up the home they lived in for so many years, so they will yearn for a room that is their own. If your parents continue to live in their own home, make it a point to visit them to ensure their home is clean and livable.
Caring for aging parents can be an enjoyable experience by giving them independence, space and communicating respectfully.