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Essential Steps to Take as Your Parents Age to Protect Them

Tips to Take Care of Your Parents

The only thing worse than having to attend your own parents’ funeral is having to watch them in the battle of old age where they are helpless, and to an extent, so are you. No amount of wealth or knowledge can stand up to an opponent as brutal as time, but with the right information and the right tools, you can at least help your parents have a few more good days. Eventually, we all leave and no one knows where we are headed, but while we are together, we can make life better for each other.

We are lucky to be in a time where the average age expectancy is higher than ever and the overall standard of health with which our older generations’ age is also better than ever. Thanks to advances in medical sciences and a much more comfortable living environment we have been afforded the luxury to spend more time with our parents than they probably had with theirs. There is still a lot that can be done to improve their quality of life, these are some options.

1. Understand Their Condition

As we age we face all kinds of challenges and are also genetically disposed to many others. From physical ailments like diabetes and arthritis to mental problems like schizophrenia to emotional problems, elderly parents have a lot to deal with. In many cases, elderly patients are dealing with multiple problems at the same time and also have to maintain a good state of mind so they stay positive throughout their recovery.

As a son or daughter, it will help you a great deal to have a deeper understanding of their medical condition so that you can cater to that problem. If your parent has arthritis or has recently had a knee or hip injury, going up and down a flight of stairs is going to be out of the question. If he or she is having memory problems you should be ready to face the emotional challenges of a situation in which your own parent doesn’t recognize who you are.

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2. Look for Help

Chances are that you are not going to have all the solutions. Even if you are a medical doctor, it is not necessary that you will know how to deal with their particular problem. Ideally, you should have someone who can help you out and someone who is a professional in that particular problem. The team at Abbey Manor advises children to hire assistance if they are considering keeping their parents at home with them.

Depending on the situation, you might need 24-hour assistance or you might get by with a professional caregiver just assisting for a few hours of the day. If you happen to live in separate houses or you have a job that doesn’t let you attend to your parents that frequently, it will be a better option to let them live in an assisted living environment. This way they will not only have medical attention but also have a proper environment and plenty of company.

3. Make Changes

If you have your parent living with you at home there are a number of things that you can do around the house to make it more accommodating for them. In case that they have mobility challenges consider shifting their room downstairs or shifting them to a room where it is easier for them to access. If they have a certain medical problem, consider an alert system that they can wear at all times.

This system will not only be connected to you but will also be linked to local medical services. In the case that something goes wrong, assistance will only be a push of a button away. This is especially handy if your parent goes out on their own, goes to the restroom on their own or you don’t always have eyes on them, it can be a lifesaving step for them to have some way of instantly contacting you and getting help.

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As we get older, we begin to understand the cycle of life, especially when it comes to our parents. When we’re young and vulnerable, they go out of their way to ensure that we’re healthy, happy, and safe. Soon we come to realize that when they begin to enter the phase of old age, we, as their children, need to do the exact same thing for them. Taking care of your parents when they are in their old age is the least we can do to show our appreciation, but it can be quite financially taxing. If they have recurring medical expenses it might be a good idea for you to get some kind of medical support program through insurance or through a third party to help you with finances. While the changes to the house will be one-time investments, medical care can be an ongoing process that can get quite expensive.

Understanding the problem in more detail will also give you a better understanding of what the process for recovery is and what you will need to be able to provide to make that possible.

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