Parents’ aging complications and fragile health can increase challenges for caregiving family members. Even if you look after their physical needs, it is hard to replicate the same for their emotional and psychological well-being.
That is why caregivers complain of strain, fatigue, exhaustion, and stress while caring for their loved ones. But looking after the elderly is not complex or unmanageable if you break it down into doable tasks.
Their health and well-being requirements are also similar to a young person. They need nutritious food, exercise, and quality rest, the same as a young adult.
Isolation, loneliness, and social disengagement affect them the same way as a young person. Likewise, negligence, delays, and mismanagement in their healthcare issues can endanger their well-being the same way a young person can suffer.
It means the same healthcare management strategies apply to an elderly individual. And these duties are manageable. Most importantly, your parents require your attention, time, and guidance to stay healthy and happy.
The following sections discuss how you can attend to your aging parents and ensure their well-being.
- Weigh nursing services with care
Many prefer nursing homes to ensure better care and comfort for their elderly parents. These services are also helpful when your parents have specialized caregiving needs. But nursing home services are not always safe, suitable, and healthy for the elderly.
Elderly residents often suffer from emotional and psychological negligence and misconduct in poorly administered nursing homes. Nursing home patients suffer from the consequences of overwork, staff shortage, and stress.
Employees vent their frustration on residents when they cannot manage their responsibilities. Hence, make sure that you choose caregiving services carefully. If your elderly has already suffered from any misconduct, consult with nursing home abuse lawyers for assistance.
Ask them about the legal procedure to withdraw from any contract, and take the necessary steps carefully. Your carelessness may further jeopardize your parents’ physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
- Educate your parents about their well-being needs
No one can better understand your parent’s personal needs, well-being, and healthcare complications than they do.
But more than that, nursing and looking after someone else are challenging responsibilities regardless of your relationship. You cannot accompany them all the time everywhere or control everything in their lives.
Their attitude, choices, and habits can accelerate their healthcare issues that your assistance and presence cannot undo. Hence, educate them about their health and well-being requirements.
Help them scrutinize their unhealthy habits, associated risks, and how they can withdraw from them. Guide them regarding preventive measures to minimize risk factors of developing old-age healthcare issues.
Tell them how to observe their health care triggers, complications, and red flags. In short, self-care, awareness, and preventive measures can minimize their risk factors and help them lead healthy lives.
- Prevent falls
Falls are the most common challenge for old age people. Studies estimate that falls are the leading cause of disability and morbidity in the older population. Aging-related weakness, hearing impairment, poor eyesight, and other cognitive and physical conditions can shatter their balance and increase their chances of slipping, tripping, or falling.
Their skeletal structure further weakens if they have an underlying orthopedic condition, such as osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, and arthritis. Thus they are prone to fractures even from minor falls as their skeletal structure gets weaker with aging.
And fractures in such situations can cause irreparable damage. Hence, minimize all the possibilities of their stumbling and falls. Redesign and renovate their living spaces if necessary. If they have an underlying orthopedic condition, consult a healthcare provider for necessary supplements, treatment, and physiotherapy to strengthen their physical strength.
- Regular visits to healthcare providers
Aging does not merely minimize bodily stamina and strength, but it comes with several complications. Aging speeds up the wear and tear of internal organs.
Aging reduces immunity and resilience against illnesses and slows down repair and recovery functions. Thus elderly are prone to several physical, emotional, and cognitive impairments.
For instance, aging promotes respiratory tract infections, diabetes, hypertension, depression, dementia, insomnia, and bone fractures in the elderly. But many of these challenges are preventable and curable with timely diagnosis and expert intervention.
Routine healthcare checkups can minimize severe complications if your parents suffer from unexpected minor injuries or health issues.
Regular visits and consultations with a healthcare provider will also expand your awareness of the risk factors and preventive strategies.
- Encourage and monitor regular physical workout
Physical workout is inevitable and crucial for everyone regardless of physical strength and age. It improves your fitness and resilience. Physical exercises are also vital to maintain and strengthen the muscular and skeletal structure of aging individuals.
It is also a preventive measure to delay and prevent old-age psychological healthcare challenges. Studies suggest that physical activity trains the brain to control and minimize the production of aging-related chemicals.
Thus it helps reduce the risks of forgetfulness, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease by delaying the shrinkage of the hippocampus, a part of the brain responsible for memory. But physical workout for the elderly is different than for a young and healthy person.
They cannot strain their bodies beyond a safe limit. And carelessness and haste can endanger them more than yield any benefit. If your parents are too old and feeble, do not leave them unattended during physical workout sessions.
And do not administer physically demanding and draining exercises. They may trip over, overstrain or injure themselves. It is better to perform safe activities exercises like walking, yoga, or stretching than a demanding workout.
Aging is a period of decline. But it does not mean your parents are doomed to experience complex healthcare problems. Quality care and a healthy and safe environment can minimize their complications. You can help them live an independent life with simple adaptations in your home and lifestyle. Hence, communicate with them about their health, risk factors, and limitations. Coordinate and work on a workable framework to facilitate their lifestyle in old age.