The ageing process is something that no one on Earth can avoid. It’s a natural process that everyone goes through, and there will come a time where everyone reaches their senior or “golden” years.
If you have an elderly parent, it’s only fitting that you naturally feel concerned for their well-being and happiness. After all: the last thing you want to do is stand back and do nothing when you know they need your support in some situations.
With that in mind, take a look at the following ideas to help you ensure your elderly parent’s well-being:
Assess Their Needs
The one thing you don’t want to happen is for your parent to injure themselves or potentially get themselves into other situations where they might need urgent assistance. Yet, it’s also not possible to be their full-time carer or watch over everything they do each day.
What can you do? One practical step is to assess their needs. For example, what do they find challenging about their everyday lives? Do they have mobility issues? Perhaps their memory isn’t as sharp as it once was?
When you take the time to assess their needs, you’ll have a better understanding of what needs addressing. You can then work with your parent to prioritise when and how to help them meet those needs.
Additionally, when you do address their needs, it’s always worth taking the time to research the best options.
For example, if you both agree a care home would be best for their needs, check which are the best ones in your area. The last thing you want to happen is for your elderly parent to get badly treated at one.
In such unwanted situations, you’d need to help your elderly parent move to a different care home and look at engaging the services of a nursing home abuse attorney to bring the first care home to justice.
Don’t Overcommit Yourself
It’s only natural that you want to do whatever it takes to help your parent in their time of need. However, one thing you shouldn’t do is stretch yourself so far that your physical and mental health becomes adversely affected.
It would be best if you considered how you could help without impacting your personal or family life. Bear in mind that the actions you take could also affect your work life.
For instance, if you spend every evening with your parent doing their cooking and cleaning or helping with their personal care, you could feel so exhausted that you’re not performing at your best at work.
One compromise might be having a carer visit your parent in their home on certain days while you go over the others. It’s a practical way of supporting your parent without over-exerting yourself and while taking care of your body and mental health.
Arrange For Essential Home Improvements
When you assessed your parent’s needs at home, you likely came across instances where specific home improvements or adjustments need doing. For example, you may have concluded that a couple of grab handles need installing in the bathroom.
You may also have determined that the home’s exterior needs a ramp for wheelchair access, or perhaps handrails fitted if there is a flight of stairs to negotiate before reaching the front door.
Whatever you’ve concluded when assessing your parent’s needs, now is the time to arrange for them to take place. You or a family member might decide to carry out some of those home improvements, but make sure you use a trusted contractor for everything else.
If no one you know recommends suitable contractors, it’s worth contacting your local authority as they usually have lists of tradespeople approved for working at elderly people’s homes.
Encourage Social Activity
When people get to a certain age in their lives, some individuals might become withdrawn from society due to mental or physical health problems. There’s plenty of research to show that an active social life helps boost happiness.
With that in mind, look at ways of how you can encourage your parent to maintain an active social life. One example might be to recommend social outings with other like-minded people of your parent’s age.
Another might be to get a tablet so your parent can have video calls with their family members and friends.
The above is by no means a complete list of points for you to consider when looking at ways to improve an elderly parent’s well-being. However, they are some of the most common points to think about.