An estimated 17% of adult-aged children will provide some level of care for their elderly parents at some point in their lives.
When the time comes to care for your parents, the role reversal of caregiving can feel jarring. Knowing what to expect can help ease this transition.
What does caregiving entail? What physical and mental health challenges should you expect to face along the way?
Read on to learn more about the key challenges you may face when caring for elderly parents.
Managing Daily Activities
As we age, we may lose some of our mental and physical faculties that make completing daily activities easier. For example, having a lower range of movement can make things like grooming, dressing, and bathing more difficult.
Elderly parents may need help with these daily activities as well as things like cooking, cleaning, running errands, and more.
Addressing Health Needs
Your elderly parents may need your help addressing their health needs. Getting to and from the doctor’s office may require assistance. Taking medications and following through with treatments may also require assistance.
This can be particularly challenging when elderly parents have multiple health issues or cognitive decline. Keeping track of treatments and medications is often more difficult for elderly parents who develop health-related anxiety or memory issues.
Accounting for Safety
If your elderly parents are living in a standard home or apartment, you will want to account for safety. As we age, we often lose bone mass, muscle mass, and balance. That means that the likelihood of falling can increase over time.
Accounting for safety often starts with accessibility. Is your parent able to get in and out of the shower safely? Are there stairs they need help climbing?
You may also want to eliminate other safety hazards, such as loose rugs, unorganized power cords, and furniture with sharp edges that can bruise or cut if bumped into.
Knowing When Additional Assistance Is Required
One of the biggest challenges of providing care for elderly parents is knowing when it’s time to ask for help. Do your best to maintain open communication with your elderly parents about their various care options. That way, they don’t feel surprised or backed into a corner when the time comes.
For parents who require a bit more assistance than you can provide, home care is a great option. Home care allows your parents to age in a familiar and comfortable environment and still receive the care they need to stay healthy, happy, and active.
Providing Care for Elderly Parents Can Be Challenging
Many adult-aged children will find themselves in the position of providing care for their elderly parents at some point in their lives. Knowing what challenges to expect can make this transition easier and help you prepare for the different stages you may encounter.
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