Caring For The Elderly – Ease Into Care Giving

April 21, 2010 · Print This Article

Caring for the Elderly may be your lot if your parents don’t pass away young.  At some point, you are going to begin helping them with the everyday affairs of life.

Your involvement may escalate as they grow older and have more needs.  You may find yourself a full-fledged caregiver for one or both of your parents if they reach a time that they cannot live independently.

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However, as they age, you may have to step in and make a few minor changes in their living environment so they will feel safe and comfortable.  It’s wonderful to see parents grow old together and still have the opportunity to live in their own home.

1.  If at all possible, create their living space on one level.  Stairs can be difficult to climb as well as a hazard for an elderly person.   It may even require a bit of remodeling to make sure the kitchen, living area, bedroom and bath are on the same level.  A laundry room must also be provided on the same floor.

2.  Reorganize drawers and cupboards so your parents will be able to find what they need easily.  Placing dishes, linens, and important appliances at eye level will eliminated the need for them to stand on a stool to reach them.

3.  Services like shopping, house cleaning, simple repairs can be handled by outside services that are set up for helping the elderly.  However, if they cost a bit more than your folks can afford, you may be the one taking on these responsibilities. Set up a schedule for these needs to be handled that will be convenient for you both of you.

4.  If your parents can be responsible to take their medications correctly, by all means let them do it.  However, if they need to be monitored, medications can be given by home health care professional who will drop in once a day to administer them.

5.  If necessary, put grab bars in the bathtub, and other places where your folks may need additional support.  Also, make sure they have enough light so they will have plenty of visibility.

With a little planning, you can help your folks keep their independence in their own home.  This will allow you to slowly ease into care giving before extensive care is needed in the future.

Til Later,

Kathy

Insightful Nana

P.S.  My mom just turned 90 and is needing full time care.  I’m grateful to have 3 sisters that share in the care giving responsibilities.

Comments

3 Responses to “Caring For The Elderly – Ease Into Care Giving”

  1. Melanie KissellNo Gravatar on July 6th, 2010 12:55 am

    Great tips, Kathy!

    My mom is 83 and her husband is 89. They live 3000 miles away and I’m really starting to worry a lot these days about how they’re going to continue to manage their own care.

    I get so angry sometimes when my mom tells me she’s tried, repeatedly, to hire a housekeeper to come in once a month to do the deep cleaning she’s unable to do anymore and no one is interested. They tell her the job isn’t “big” enough and it’s not worth their time or lucrative enough unless she hires them to come in and clean every week.

    The thing I worry about the very most is that my mom has to do all the driving since her partner’s drivers license has been taken away. Bless his heart — he cried when he couldn’t pass his last exam and he had to hand his license over. That must really hurt a man’s pride.

    Let’s face it … getting old stinks!

    Melanie

  2. Grace HodginNo Gravatar on July 28th, 2010 9:20 am

    Really great tips to keep as an outline. I have a couple I watch over as all their family is in England. The thing I face most with them is stubbornness to see their need in certain areas. Fortunately I’m patient so we go one step at a time until they see a need to the things I see they should consider.

  3. Dennis SalvatierNo Gravatar on November 5th, 2010 11:35 am

    These are really great tips, Kathy. I know this because I had to care for my sick father at a very early age. He passed 4 years ago, but my family was glad we had the opportunity to care for him for 7 years. It’s a lot of responsibility to take care of an ailing parent, and at times it can be frustrating, but you have to think about how they cared for you when you were just starting out in life.

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