With retirement come a lot of changes to the lives of your parents. This transition is hard, however if you want and by helping them choose the right homes and services, you can help their golden years, truly great.
Proper caring for the elderly is done by planning everything meticulously. Here are a few tips to help you get started on helping your parents live the Golden Years of their life.
Identify their caregiving needs
Determine what your parent needs help with on a daily or weekly basis. For example, would they be better off if they were having the groceries delivered? Can your dad follow his medication schedule? Do your parents need help with housework? Evaluate their needs, and then match up service providers to take care of those needs. If you do not pay attention to these now, they will lead of a lot of problems later.
One major factor in an elderly person’s independence is their ability to drive. If they are not capable of doing so without possibly causing injury to themselves or others, then arrange other transportation options. Many municipalities, volunteer groups, and non-profit organizations offer seniors rides for little to no fee.
Start with the home
Mobility and the ability to monitor their safety is key. If possible, make modifications to their existing home. Consider (where possible) tearing down walls to create a more navigable floor plan, installing easier-to-access showers and sinks, and modifying fixtures so they’re more user-friendly.
Also, look into home monitoring systems, which are becoming more sophisticated every year. Some technologies even have the ability to detect changes in your parents’ activity. For example, if the system senses that Mom took a fall, it can send instant alerts to you and emergency services when required.
If their home cannot be modified to accommodate your parents as they age, then be proactive about looking for a new residence. You can also consider senior citizens living facilities like The Golden Estate, with are designs and services centred around the elderly, round the clock care and medical facilities on board, TGE is an ideal place for your parents to spend their golden years.
Look for places with resources
Until recently, local resources for seniors mostly consisted of adult day care centres and Meals on Wheels programs. But as the population of adult age 65-plus escalates over the next couple of decades, more resources will become available.
One such resource is the “village” concept. Villages connect members with resources they need to live at home safely and comfortably. Many villages are neighbourhood organizations that rely on volunteers to provide services. For an annual fee, these communities help senior members manage household tasks they can no longer handle. When volunteers aren’t able to provide services, villages refer members to discounted and vetted vendors.
There’s a lot around you
Many adult children live hundreds or even thousands of miles from their parents. While Skype and phone calls are helpful, there’s no substitute for live check-ins to make sure your parent is comfortable, safe, and happy.
Identify and recruit local family members, friends, or neighbours who can stop in to be your eyes and ears.
If your parent is lonely and would like round-the-clock companionship, consider pet ownership. Pets can reduce feelings of isolation and give people a focus outside themselves. They allow people to take on a caregiving role that not only provides a reason to get out of bed, but also an overall sense of purpose.
Follow it Up
Even after you’ve made the necessary changes, there may come a time when your parents are no longer safe living on their own in their home. That is the time to consider moving them into a more secure, monitored environment.
While leaving one’s home is difficult and often viewed as a last resort, quality of care means doing the right thing at the right time. Your parents’ safety is the first priority. If it will compromise their well-being, it isn’t worth keeping them at home.
Old age care is not at all tough; it just requires a little compassion, warmth and love.
Even with everything you are able to arrange, your parents will need your constant support. There is no substitute for being around and helping them out. They’ve done it for the beginning of your life, it’s time you helped them towards their golden years.