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Are you a caregiver for your aging parents? Statistics show that about 25% of Americans 18 and older have provided care for someone with a long-term illness or disability in the previous 30 days.
Whether you’re officially a caregiver or simply want to ensure your parents are safe and healthy, lending support to them can be a challenge. Elderly parents might resist change or fight being told what to do by their kids.
Keep reading for tips on helping elderly parents, whether or not they want your support.
1. Research the Situation
Being informed on what your parents are going through helps you better support them. This is especially true if your parent has a medical condition or disability. Fully understanding the implications of the condition can better help you make recommendations and advocate for your parent.
2. Communicate Regularly
Keeping in touch with your parents is one of the easiest ways to show them support. One report shows that over a third of adults 45 and older feel lonely. This can be especially true if your parent is part of the nearly 25% of adults 65 and older who are socially isolated.
A simple phone call can help your elderly parents feel connected. It also gives you a chance to check in and identify potential problems or needs.
3. Find Community Resources
Taking advantage of community resources can help your parents get the support they need. If they age in place, they might benefit from senior meal delivery, senior transportation, and home care aides.
Your parent might also qualify for assistance based on their past experiences and affiliations. Veterans might have access to support programs. Some fraternal organizations also offer community resources to members.
4. Reframe Your Help
If you insist your parents need to move to a care facility, move to a different home, or give up certain activities, you’ll likely be met with resistance. No adult wants to be told what to do, especially by their kids.
Be gentle and slow with your approach if your parents don’t want to hear what you have to say. Give them time to get used to the idea.
Make things sound more appealing when you present them. When talking about an assisted living facility, you might talk about the convenience and luxury of the on-site services.
It can also help to let your parent still call the shots with assistants and in-home health care providers simply helping carry out what your parent wants.
5. Advocate for Your Parents
As they age, your parents might need an advocate with health care providers, financial institutions, care facilities, and other companies or people. Knowing your parents well, you’re able to fight for their needs and preferences in those situations.
Stay informed on what’s happening in your parents’ healthcare and living situations, especially if they live in a nursing home. Lawsuits related to nursing home abuse are common. If your parent expresses any hints of nursing home abuse, investigate immediately and contact an attorney who handles elder abuse.
By being an advocate, you ensure your parents get the best possible care.
Support Your Aging Parents
Supporting your aging parents is a challenge. Being there for them and taking care of yourself can make the transition into later stages of life easier.
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