We all have to grow older eventually, and it can be a strange experience to watch it happen to your own parents as you get older yourself. Some things they could once do easily become more challenging, and it falls on you to help them out when they need it. Ideally, all our parents could stay in their chosen homes for as long as they wanted. To make this easier, we’ll go over how to help aging parents stay at home so that they can still feel that important sense of individuality and freedom.
Assess Their Real Needs
As your parents age, you’ll need to get realistic about what they can continue to handle. Are they okay to continue driving, for example? Addressing your parents’ real physical needs in their own home will ensure they stay healthy while maintaining their independence. Remember that their mental health needs are just as important as their physical ones, so factors such as companionship and therapy may also be important.
Include Them as Much as Possible
Your parents don’t stop being their own people when they get older. You can’t take control of every aspect of their lives unless they truly need around-the-clock assistance. As such, you should include their opinion in every decision you make regarding their care. Even if they are reluctant to accept help in their own home, explaining your concerns in a frank way will help them see that you just want to ensure their safety.
One thing that can be quite degenerative on one’s psyche is prolonged periods of isolation. This can happen to the elderly as they find it more difficult to leave their home. One of the best ways to help your aging parent stay at home is to make sure they don’t feel trapped there by themselves. If you can’t make regular trips to see them, try to arrange for companionship services elsewhere.
Spread Out Care Responsibilities
Unless you can drop a lot of your own responsibilities, you probably won’t have the capacity to meet every one of your aging parents’ needs. Don’t be afraid to ask for outside help in this matter. Whether it’s other members of your family, friends who live nearby, or medical professionals, know that you don’t have to shoulder everything on your own. By spreading out the responsibilities, you lessen the load on everyone and allow your parents more autonomy.