Taking care of aging parents

Your parents were your guiding light in the dark. They were the hands that held you and didn’t let you fall. Simply put, they are the reason you’re here today, living the life that you do so happily. They’ve given you everything they had. Their fuel was sleepless nights, worrisome days, and empty stomachs. What should you do when you have aging parents you should pay gratitude towards?

Here are some simple tips you can follow to make sure your aging parents have a comfortable senior life.

Plan ahead:

Your parents can be perfectly healthy and independent one day and be bedridden the next. It is the way of senility. You should plan ahead for such an emergency so that it doesn’t come as a shock to you. Be financially and emotionally prepared to take care of your aging parents, should it come to that. Keep a first aid kit ready at their place in case you cannot get there immediately. Make sure the loved ones know emergency phone numbers, such as for the hospital, family doctor, cab service, etc. Equip them with the newest technology such as GPS trackers and mobile phones.

Keep your aging parents active:

Just like with anybody else, exercise can work miracles for the elderly too. It can extend their functional age by 10-1 5 years. So, it is important that your parents get 30 minutes of a moderately intensive workout (biking, walking, and swimming) on a daily basis. It is also essential that they do exercises for flexibility such as yoga, and stretching. Use donut or egg crate cushions on chairs and beds would reduce the risk of ulcers on a fairly immobile parent.

Keep an eye on their physical and mental health:

Losing their health can take a toll on a once independent person. So, your aging parents may not tell you whenever there’s a downfall in their health. Therefore, keep an eye out for any signs (forgetfulness, depression, unsteadiness, lack of direction, etc) that indicate they could be sick. This would prevent any shock that could arise if they suddenly happen to be very ill. Know all their medicine, doctors and especially the pharmacist.

Discuss finances:

Speak to your aging parents about their finances and insurance plans for long-term care. Make sure that your loved ones are comfortable with what they have or provide better things. Also, note that the elderly are often victimized by scams and check to see if their bank accounts hold the amount that they should.

Discuss legal issues:

Find out about their power of attorney and health care proxy documents. These will sort out who can make their health decisions for them. In the case that they haven’t prepared them yet, help them do so. Pay more attention to Advance Directives as they would determine whether or not to use dialysis, breathing machines, tube feeding or to resuscitate in case of cardiac arrest.


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