Supporting Your Parents In Old Age

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It can be a difficult thing to face up to, but it is a fact of life: we all get old. As children and younger adults, we look at our parents, and they can seem almost immortal. It isn't until we begin to get older ourselves that we notice the signs of aging - the grey hairs increasing, the skin getting more and more linked, the creak of the hips and knees, and perhaps the odd moment of forgetfulness. At some point, we have to accept that they may need a little extra support to help them live out the later years of their life in comfort.

Image credit: Pixabay CC0 License

Here, we look at a few of the ways that you can support your parents in their old age.

Assess their needs

Organizing additional care and support for a parent can seem daunting because you are not sure exactly what needs to be done. What you need to do is to take a step back and think about how much help they need with various aspects of their everyday life.

Some of the things to consider include:

  • Staying safe in the home
  • Personal hygiene
  • Cooking and eating
  • Cleaning
  • Mental health
  • Shopping
  • Social interaction 
  • Mobility
  • Medical needs

How much support do they get for each thing, and how much help do they actually need to stay safe and healthy? By looking at each situation individually, it allows you to see where the support is necessary so that you can plan it accordingly. This may be in the form of help in the community, or it may be that they are better suited to a care home. Make sure you do your research to find reputable support, and if you come across one that doesn't treat their residents with the utmost care and respect, Chony can help.

Consider your own needs and abilities

You are allowed to be a little bit selfish. You don't have to take on the full responsibility for caring for elderly parents, and it is okay to say, ''I can't do that''. Even if you want to, can you?

  • Does your own health allow you to care for someone physically?
  • Do you live close enough to visit when needed and be there at short notice?
  • If you work, can you have time off to deal with issues?
  • Do you have the relationship that allows you to care for them without any hostility or negativity?

Your main aim is for your parents to be healthy and safe. It isn't selfish or heartless if you are not the best person to take on the job of all-round care.
By looking out for their health and safety and getting the assistance they need, you're still a loving and supportive child.
If you take on too much responsibility and can't manage either physically or emotionally, you're not going to be able to support your parent or yourself, and that is not going to help anyone.

Accepting old age can be difficult, but it is inevitable. By considering the points above you can make sure that the process for everyone involved is calm, safe, and above all, happy. 

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