As parents age, they who you most depended on as a child become dependent upon you as they grow old. While your parent ages, both you and they have to adjust into a new stage of life where you become their caretaker. While this may seem like a strange position for you at first, you and your parent both can live and work together with more ease if you are both prepared. Enjoy the time you spend with your aging parent or loved one by following these tips to care for them.
- Install New Technology in Their Home
New and innovative technology has allowed the elderly to remain independent for a much longer period of time than they previously were able to in the past. For example, there are many in-home devices that make navigating around the home and staying safe much easier. One of the most popular rising technologies has been anti-scald devices. Sometimes, water in the shower or sink can become too hot too rapidly and cause scalding burns. The anti-scald devices prevent water from getting too hot if, for instance, a toilet gets flushed and the water becomes too hot.
- Encourage Them to Stay Active
Just like at any other time in life, exercise is incredibly important to sustain mental and physical wellness. A healthy amount of moderate physical activity, such as walking, biking or swimming, done at least 30 minutes a day, will help maintain mental alertness and physical ability. Cardio exercise is especially important because it promotes circulation, so that fresh oxygenated blood reaches parts of your body quicker. Cardio exercise also promotes heart health and elevates mood. Weight training exercises such as those with free weights and resistance bands should also be performed a few days a week to help maintain muscle tone and strength. Finally, stretching should be a part of his or her routine daily in order to maintain flexibility and reduce risk of pain.
- Suggest Driving Alternatives
One of the toughest milestones an elderly person passes as they age is when they lose the ability to drive. It is a privilege many of take for granted every day, and so losing the ability to drive whenever and wherever you want can feel extremely limiting and disparaging. If your aging parent is unable to drive but it still alert, encourage him or her to use a driving service such as Uber or Lyft. Check out your local Senior Center – many of them also provide transportation. By doing so, he or she will be able to go about their activities such as going to the grocery store, the community center, a friend’s house, and more with ease. This is also a great alternative if you are in a position where you are not available to drive them all of the time.
- Discuss Finances
The issue of finances may be a difficult topic of discussion, but it is necessary in order to put both of you in a prepared position. For instance, you will want to discuss their retirement savings, Medicare and Medicaid insurance plans and supplements, and even the possibility for elderly life insurance or burial insurance. Talking about finances is an appropriate and mature way of progressing together so that both of you can live happily together and handle appropriately any unforeseen cost. A site such as can help you BurialInsurance.org get started.
- Share Meals Together
There is nothing more valuable you can contribute to your aging parent than your time. Sharing a meal together is just one simple example of how you can spend time together. Go to their house or have them come to yours, or even treat them to lunch or an early dinner out. As people age, they are not able to go out as much as they used to, so extending your time to treat them to a meal out can make their day. While you are with them, ask them about themselves, have them share their stories, and simply enjoy yourselves together.
- Consider Hiring a Caregiver
Of course, you probably cannot afford to take time off to spend all of your time with your elderly parent. If this is the case and he or she needs more care, consider hiring a caregiver. Caregivers are trained to treat your parent in the way that they need. They can give them daily care, pick up prescriptions, make sure they take daily supplements, and notify you of any changes in health or behavior.
Watching a parent age is never easy, but there are ways you can keep them happy and healthy and provide all they need during these years. Keep these facets in mind and make sure your elderly parent is well taken care of.