Seeing your parents get older is difficult – it’s as though they suddenly go from having superpowers to being fragile, sick and elderly. It happens to all of us, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a shock. As members of your family get older and start needing more help around the house, you will need to start talking to them about care going forward. Often, they will want to stay in their own homes, rather than going into an elderly people’s home, and you will need to think about what precautions need to be put in place.
Keep the conversation open
Nothing can be done until you all begin to talk to each other, and although it’s not an easy topic to bring up, it’s necessary to ensure everyone is as happy and healthy as possible. It may not be easy for your parents to accept that they need care or help, but as long as you make sure that you have their best interests at heart as they move into their later years. A good first step would be to talk to your GP about your options, to read reviews of the best and worst medical alert systems and ask them if they have any preferences to what help they would prefer.
Make time for them
I know that life can be stressful and busy, and making time to see your parents can often feel like an added strain that it feels impossible to shoehorn into your schedule. However, making time to help them with the groceries or cleaning the bathroom will make their lives much easier if things are becoming a little difficult, and will create time for you and your family to hang with your parents.
Make a financial plan
Be open with your parents and see if they have any finances set aside for when they can no longer look after themselves. They may have already set aside some cash for a home or to pay for in-house care. You may also have to come to an agreement with your loved ones and siblings to work out who pays for what, so try to be as transparent as possible to avoid tensions!
Caring for family members can be tough on both your physical health and relationships at home. Staying healthy yourself will enable you to keep a more positive mind and a body that is happy and well. Often, if you are worried, stressed or upset, your health gets put on the backburner. Remember to make time for you!
It is bound to be difficult for your parents to come to terms with not being able to do everything they used to do – knowing your mind and body is deteriorating without having much control over it can’t be easy! Try not get frustrated with them – even though they are your parents – and give them all the love they deserve. If you are dealing with a family member with Dementia or Alzheimer’s, talk to your doctor about the best way to talk to, guide and help them out as much as possible.