If you’ve got elderly parents, you may have watched them go from their vivacious selves to a shadow of who they were. A lot of the time, this is part and parcel of ageing. They won’t be able to do what they once did. It’s a hard reality for those of us who love them to face. Physical issues aside, though, a lot of the problems come from their feeling of losing control. As we’re moving our parents in, and doing everything we can to look after their health, we fail to consider the impact needing such care can have. We can only imagine how tough it must be to lose all sense of self-reliance. But, there are ways to soften the blow. Your parents need your care, and there’s no way around it. But here are some steps you can take to keep them feeling like themselves!
GIVE THEM AS MUCH INDEPENDENCE AS POSSIBLE
If you’ve chosen to move your parents into your home, you will have done it with the best intentions. Even so, the transition will be difficult. Your parents may find it hard to accept your help. Make sure not to impose yourself on them, even though you do so with their best interests in mind. Don’t jump up every time you see them going to the kitchen, or ask if they need something every few minutes. They know you’re there, and will come to you if they need you. Other than that, let them live their lives. If possible, consider extending your home, or renovating an outbuilding. That way, they’ll have their own space and can come and go as they please. This added feeling of independence will help them adjust without overwhelming them.
HELP WITH THEIR APPEARANCE
If your parents are no longer capable of looking after their appearance, you may need to step in there, too. There’s a lot you can’t change, but there are things you can. Dental issues, for example, can be solved by dentists like All on 4. If your parent is in need of dentures, getting them will go a long way to making them feel good about how they look again. It may also be worth taking them on a clothes shopping trip. You know how good it can feel to buy new clothes, right? They have the power to make us feel fantastic again. It’ll be no different for your parents. Think, too, about helping them find a skincare routine that works. Not only will this help them look good, but it’ll also get them back into the habit of pampering themselves!
TAKE THEM OUT WHEN POSSIBLE
When your parents lose their mobility, they’ll rely on you for outings. Take them out and about whenever possible to ensure they don’t go crazy at home. Sit down with them and plan the things they would like to do. Then, see when you can fit those outings into your schedule. Think, too, about any practicalities, such as wheelchair access.