You’re probably reading this because your parents are seniors, and you’ve noticed they are struggling with certain everyday household chores or activities.
You love them and will happily help them where you can, but at the same time, you don’t want to disrupt your own family life. It’s a situation that many grown-up children of aging parents find themselves in, and it’s sometimes challenging to resolve.
There are some steps you can take to offer as much help as possible to your parents without causing problems with your family life at home. Take a look at these ideas to get started:
1. Determine Each Parent’s Needs
Firstly, it makes sense to figure out the needs of each parent. For example, one of your parents may not have any specific requirements, whereas the other may have mobility issues. You should also look at how much support each parent gets presently.
If you live far away from your parents, it might not be practical to help with some things due to the geographical distance between you all. However, if you happen to live in the same area, it could be possible to provide some daily help like grocery shopping.
2. Take Into Account Your Own Needs
You might be younger and more able than your parents, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t without your own limitations. That’s why you need to take into account your own needs. For instance, you might have a physical disability that prevents you from lifting heavy items.
In such scenarios, you may not have the strength to help your parents with specific tasks like gardening or lifting them in and out of the bathtub.
You’ll also need to consider feelings; do you all have the type of relationship where negative feelings don’t appear if you all spend a lot of time together?
3. Include Your Parents in Decisions
Your parents need help with certain aspects of their daily lives to remain independent. What they don’t want is someone to make all decisions about their lifestyles for them. That’s why you must include your parents in all crucial decisions.
For example, you don’t want to force them to live in a nursing home, especially one notorious for ill-treatment of their clients.
In such cases, you’d regret your choice, particularly as you didn’t ask your parents if it was the right option for them, nor did you do any proper research. Plus, you’d need to hire a nursing home abuse attorney to help your parents claim financial compensation.
4. Review Their Financial Situation
The ugly truth about helping aging parents with their daily lives is that some aspects of help will require money. That’s because they’d need to pay for things like home modifications and adaptions, nursing staff, and anything else to support their needs.
Plus, your parents will still need to pay for expenses like groceries, household bills, and rent or a mortgage. The good news is some seniors are eligible for financial help from the government, so it’s worth looking into how that can help as well.
5. Ensure Their Home Is Safe
Let’s face it: almost everyone’s home has safety hazards, yet householders are aware of them and know to avoid them. The trouble is, that’s not so easy for seniors that have mobility issues, for example, and aren’t steady on their feet.
One of the ways you can help your aging parents is by carrying out a risk assessment of their home. Where in their home are your parents likely to injure themselves? What steps must get taken to diminish or remove the risk of injuries?
Once you’ve done that, you can help them take steps to improve safety in their home. For instance, you might install grab bars in their bathroom, or you might have some loose carpet replaced.
6. Improve Communications With Them
Your parents know they can contact you by calling you on the phone. But, it makes sense to add additional communications methods. For instance, you could help them buy and use mobile phones to contact you wherever they are – even if they aren’t at home.
You could even help them get a simple to use tablet device to make or receive video calls. Plus, if they’re open to the idea, they could have wearable medical alert devices in case of emergencies.
The above are just a few ways that you can help senior parents without causing problems for yourself and your family. The help you can provide and the solutions you can offer will ultimately depend on your personal circumstances and your level of commitment.