Are you taking care of your aging parents in your home or theirs? If so, you may be like many of your colleagues, feeling stressed and overwhelmed by the many responsibilities you’re taking care of. Here are 5 tips that have helped others and hopefully will help you make your POParenting journey more joyous — and your life easier!
1. MAKE YOUR LIFE EASIER: ORDER ESSENTIALS TO BE DELIVERED TO THE DOOR
Using food services such as Meals on Wheels, which has many different nutritional choices, helps with the time-consuming tasks of careful marketing, driving to pick up groceries and lugging them in. Similarly ordering regularly-scheduled and even special medications online and delivered to the door will make life much easier, especially in “bad weather” or if you have to work late or are needed elsewhere.
2. MAKE YOUR LIFE EASIER: PREP THE HOME TO AVOID PROBLEMS
Making inexpensive changes to the home for the safety of your aging parents will bring you all peace of mind. Most seniors take falls because of excess clutter in the halls, rugs not being firmly attached and other such things that are easily fixable whereas the impact of their falls may be life-altering. Making simple changes such as lowering shelving, installing shower bars and adding more lighting throughout the house WILL make the home a safer place to live, help you avoid nightmares and even make “home sweet home” more peaceful.
3. MAKE YOUR LIFE EASIER: STAY INVOLVED IN HEALTH CARE CHOICES
Staying on top of your aging parents doctor’s appointments, medications changes, lab tests and health decisions as well as tracking changes you see in their conditions and sharing those with their doctors will help you become a more confident POParent. And you’ll do a better job, too.
4. MAKE YOUR LIFE EASIER: HAVE A PLAN FOR EMERGENCIES — YOU’LL PROBABLY NEED IT
Have a plan for emergencies! Putting your parents’ vital information and current meds on a computer stick that placing it in your car or your parents’ caregiver’s car can be a life-saver. Using a Personal Emergency Response System (PERS) will let you know when your eldery parents have fallen and some devices even include GPS tracking so you know where they have fallen.
5. MAKE YOUR LIFE EASIER: ADDRESS THE EMOTIONAL ISSUES
Allowing feelings of loneliness, sadness, loss, decrepitude and disability to stay unattended can all be harmful to your aging parents’ health. Do your best to ensure lots of socialization and engage your elder loved ones in activities that they enjoy. Playing music can help ease the loneliness and remind you all of your connection to each other. Technology such as Skype, or FaceTime offers you the chance to set up video chats with other long-distance relatives and friends your parents may be missing if they’re now living with you.
How have you helped your elderly parents age more independently? What challenges have you faced POParenting at home? Please let us know by commenting below.