Elder loneliness, in an ageing population, is becoming a serious social problem. The elderly are losing strength, their muscles are getting weaker, their fitness is failing and they are finding it increasingly difficult to fulfil their daily responsibilities. Once it was our parents who took care of us, and now it’s time to return the favour and support them in their daily lives. Find out how to help older people living at home and what forms of support are the best way to improve the lives of your parents and grandparents. How do you care for elderly parents?
Care for elderly parents, the hot topic of our time
Against all appearances, a long life, and therefore a long old age, is a fairly new phenomenon. Medical advances and better living conditions mean that we have more and more elderly people in society. It is said that every 60 seconds someone turns 60. By 2050, we will have more than 2 billion people in their 60s – that’s one in five people worldwide. So we must do everything we can to ensure that older people enjoy good health and autonomy for as long as possible. Many of us are struggling with the question of when to think of some kind of solution for helping elderly parents, so if you are one of them and want to know ways how to support the elderly, then sit back as we have some inspiration for you.
Four ways to help your parents in old age
Here are the best ways to care for elderly parents. We start with safety and health issues, move through new technologies and end with ways for seniors to participate in society.
Getting home care for elderly parents
If you notice that the senior in your life is not coping with daily household chores such as cooking, cleaning, shopping or health problems and mobility issues, then the best way of helping elderly parents is to employ a live-in caretaker.
Arranging home care for elderly parents is by far the best way of helping seniors. These types of professionals support seniors with daily household chores, help maintain proper personal hygiene, take care of their medication, shop, and cook and are invaluable companions and mental support. In a word, it’s an all-in-one specialist who will help your parents round the clock in the comfort of a familiar environment for the senior.
It’s the best thing you can do if you care for elderly parents because you’re providing them with support and security. Look after their health, while not subjecting them to the shock of a change of environment, as would be the case with retirement homes.
Getting elderly parents out of home
Loneliness and social isolation are the biggest threats to older people next to chronic diseases. Therefore, another point we would like to make as a way of caring for elderly parents is to encourage them to spend time outside their own homes and socialise.
When seniors retire, they often lose their social circle or are unable to adjust to the new reality of being out of work, and thus become depressed and apathetic. So if you want the support of elderly family members it is worth ensuring that they find a new community.
Encourage your parents to attend courses, exercises, trips and other events for seniors where they can make new friends with fellow elderly people and have a laugh. Also, keep in mind that it’s the time with you that will count the most for your parents, so occasionally invite them to visit you, go to the cinema or have a nice dinner out in town together.
Getting elderly parents into technology
As we mentioned, loneliness and social isolation very often affect older people. Therefore, another way to care for elderly parents is to encourage and familiarise them with technology that will help them stay connected to society and family.
Knowing how to use the phone can save your parent’s life when they have an accident or fall ill, and surfing the internet can help them stay in touch with loved ones and give them access to information and entertainment.
In our time, smart house appliances are also becoming increasingly popular, which will relieve your senior mentally and physically. We are talking about automatic hoovers, electric gates, washing machines or lawnmowers – ideally, these can be controlled by voice with the help of an AI personal assistant. Seniors are unlikely to be enthusiastic about them straight away, but once they learn how to use them, they will be real-life savers.
Getting elderly parents’ house fit for the elderly
The final way to help the elderly living at home is to adapt the elderly parents’ house to the capabilities and requirements of the seniors.
A house suited to the seniors’ requirements should be practical and safe. It is common for seniors’ homes to have special pipes, mats and handles to reduce the possibility of falls. If your parents have mobility problems, consider a special scooter, wheelchair or walking stick to help them keep their balance. Gadgets for dressing or tying shoes are also useful for those suffering from arthritis.
You will also find a plethora of other elderly aids online that will provide independence and comfort for the senior. If you are not sure what to choose, you can find our article on the subject HERE. It is worth taking a look and caring for elderly parents this way.
Help your parents in old age
The best way to help the elderly living at home is to provide them with comfort and company, so there is nothing like live-in care. It’s also a good idea to think about entertainment and access to technology for your senior, as this will help them feel up to date. However, the best way to help is to spend time with them, so do not forget that too!