Many people worry about how they are going to support their elderly parents, especially if they are unable to live by themselves. It is normal for seniors to require support and assistance when they get older, especially if they develop health conditions or mobility issues.
Knowing how to support seniors can be difficult, particularly if they are used to being independent. Luckily, you can take lots of steps to ensure that your parents remain safe, happy, and healthy as they get older.
Here are four ways to support elderly parents:
1. Have an open conversation about their needs
It is natural for seniors to find things more strenuous as they get older, especially high-impact activities. You may notice that an elderly parent is finding it more difficult to complete household chores or run errands, for example. In this situation, you should sit down as a family to discuss your parent’s care needs.
Some seniors are able to remain living at home independently and require minimal assistance with their daily activities. In contrast, other seniors require more intensive support and may need to consider full-time in-home care or assisted living. Encourage your parents to be open and honest about their needs so you can decide what level of support is best.
2. Discuss the benefits of home health care
Home care has become a popular alternative to residential care facilities as it enables seniors to remain living in the place they feel most comfortable – their home and the local community. One of the biggest benefits of home health care is that it allows seniors to have more control over their lifestyle and remaining living at home for as long as possible.
Home care services can be tailored to your parent’s needs and preferences. You can arrange for a fully-trained carer to visit your parents every day or once a week, depending on their individual care needs. A carer can assist with a large variety of daily activities and will also provide companionship and emotional support.
3. Encourage them to lead a healthy lifestyle
Many people let healthy habits slip when they get older and start leading a more sedentary lifestyle. Being active and eating a nutritious diet will support good health and reduce your parent’s risk of age-related chronic conditions like high blood pressure and arthritis.
Encourage your parents to do some form of daily exercise. This could involve something as simple as a short walk around the block after lunch. According to seniorlifestyle.com, the best exercises for seniors are water aerobics, yoga, walking, and pilates. You should also make sure that your elderly parents are eating the right amount of calories for their level of activity and getting the right nutrition in their diet.
4. Stay in touch and offer emotional support
A recent study found that over 40% of seniors feel lonely. Loneliness can contribute to many health conditions, including heart disease and mental illnesses. You should stay in touch with your elderly parents and encourage them to socialize and meet up with family and friends.