You’re suddenly aware that things are changing. Mom and Dad, who used to look out for you, are starting to call on your help more and more.
Just when you thought you had a bit of time to yourself to focus on your career, take up a hobby, spend more time with friends or just unwind quietly into retirement, you’re suddenly flung into a space where you have to make financial, legal and emotional decisions whilst dealing with a complex range of emotions yourself.
It’s gonna be tough, but a few simple steps can make things a little easier. Here are our top three tips on how to cope with aging parents.
Information is power!
Arm yourself with knowledge and it will be easier.
Take lots of notes and keep lists and find out as much as you can about your parent’s health, daily life, insurances and finances.
Establish what services are available to them and what they are entitled to. There are many options to allow your elderly relatives to age happily and in place if they prefer to, such as home care services, meals and transportation, adult day care with a variety of classes, and activities and many other family-based services for older people in social or economic need.
Don’t feel shy or underestimate the amount of support the person you are caring for needs, or you may end up not receiving the support you need or are entitled to.
Along with a trained professional, write up a support plan, which sets out how your needs as a carer will be met. This may include help with chores around the home or even buying a notebook to keep in touch with family and friends.
There is even help available to you as the carer to get necessary home adaptations in process and emotional support to help keep you strong. Now is not the time to be humble or polite. In order to receive the information and advice which suits your particular circumstances, you should be factual and precise and not shy away from the support you need.
Making homes ready to accommodate the needs of senior occupants involves making important adaptations which directly tackle some of the key mobility issues attached to old age.
There are now better alternatives to the traditional stairlift, which will keep your parents happy and safe in their own home, such as the modern home elevator.
Mark Blomfield, home elevator expert at specialist residential elevator company, www.liftonhomelifts.com, explains: “More and more people are looking at installing a home elevator as a way of future-proofing their property.
“This level of independence takes the pressure off families and makes for a much better quality of life for the senior. It means they have the freedom to stay in their own homes and can move out independently without having to have support getting on and off a stairlift for example.”