Watching parents get older is tough. Seeing them start to slow down, both physically and mentally, can be emotionally challenging for children of any age. However, ageing is inevitable and seeing and experiencing loved ones get older is a natural part of life. While it’s not always an easy process, helping your mom or dad as they enter their senior years can also be incredibly rewarding.
Do you have an ageing parent living in your home? Read on to discover how you can bring joy to all of your lives with these caregiving tips.
Learn to Live With Change
The most critical thing to remember when caring for your senior parent at home is to expect change. It’s natural for people to hold on to what their parents were like in their prime — to have an image of them from years passed because that’s the person you remember best. But sadly, people change as they age. As a caregiver of your parent, you must learn to accept that transformation is the new normal.
As they grow older, their body also deteriorates and begin to feel different illnesses or body impairments as a sign of aging. And this is normal. You may also notice that some may have sight problems, loss of hearing, or begin to forget things often. Thus, preparing and learning these changes for your parents would help you take good care of them. For example, seeing a hearing specialist would give you an idea of how to handle hearing loss or the alternatives for better communication. Or, go to Opta to check your parents’ eyes.
You have to prepare for mood swings, personality shifts, managing body pain, and more. The sooner you learn to accept that they’re not quite the same anymore, the better you’ll become at supporting them compassionately and knowing what type of support to give them when they need it.
Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help
Another crucial step to take when caring for your mom or dad is to ask for help. The reality is, you can’t do this alone. It’s a challenging job to give someone 24-hour care and you need support. It’s particularly important to seek help if your parent has a life-limiting illness such as dementia or cancer because their health will start to decline quickly.
If you live near a bigger city like Toronto or New York, you should check out what type of at-home caregiving services are available. For example, look for home care services in Toronto from a professional healthcare provider.
Find a home healthcare provider that offers vital services for seniors, including:
- Personal Support from Professional Caregivers and Registered Nurses
- Palliative Care
- Dementia Care
- Massage Therapy
- Live-In Care
- And more
With professional help around the house, you’ll rest easy knowing that your loved one is getting the highest quality support they need.
Give Yourself a Break
Doing anything for too long without a break will cause you to burn out, and looking after a senior parent is no exception. Managing your health is just as important as taking care of your parent, so check in with yourself and know your limits. Having professional help from a healthcare provider is the right first step, but also remember to utilize your time.
When your parent’s caregiver is with your loved one, do something you enjoy. Use that time to take a nap, go to the spa, walk the dog, visit with an old friend — something that’s meaningful to you.
Watching parents grow old isn’t easy, but it doesn’t have to be a struggle. With an open mind, some professional help, and a commitment to taking care of yourself, you can provide a joyful and fulfilling life to you and your loved one.