Adulthood is difficult, especially while living in a city like New York, where the amount of stress that comes with the responsibility of living a quality life, providing for your family, while also taking care of yourself can be more than just hectic. However, amidst everything going on, one thing that we often tend to forget is to take care of an elderly parent back home.
The reason why this is so important is that they have reached an age where it is almost impossible for them to take care of themselves. From the ability to drive a car to prepare or even eating their own food, these tasks (which may seem menial to us) can be extremely difficult for them. This is why we as their children should take up some responsibility in providing them with an environment that does not reek of depression and loneliness.
This, in no way, means that you give up your career and just be with them 24/7. We all understand that it is not ideal and perhaps not even possible if we want to support our family. Hence, we have created a list of top 6 things that you should do to make sure that your parents are in great care while you can continue with your busy life.
1. Stay Connected
One of the major tasks you need to incorporate in your life is to increase the number of times you give them a call. We are not going to tell you how often you need to do it or whether you do it enough because it can be different for everyone. What we are trying to say is that checking up on them while you are at work is not a very difficult thing to do.
Additionally, no one is asking you to spent hours on the phone during your work hours. Our parents have been through the phase that we are in right now and they completely understand how busy the lifestyle is. All they need is a reassurance that their child has not forgotten them completely and even a 5 min call can make a great difference in their overall health.
2. See Them More Often
Whether you live in the same house, a block away, or in different cities, this point applies to all of us. There have been instances where an elderly parent living away from their children seem more satisfied than those living in the same house. This happens when you just do not have enough time for your parents but every other activity. Coming home late every day and leaving for work early is just one example of not being able to even see your face, let alone spend some quality time.
We understand that changing your schedule can be too much to ask for since your office hours are probably not in your control. However, you can still manage to sit with them once in a while to make them feel wanted and not a burden. The last thing that an aging parent would want is to feel like an added responsibility in the already busy lives of their children.
3. Have Conversation Starters
Connecting to the above point, you may feel at a distance with your parent just because you have never had an extremely intimate relationship with your father or your mother for that matter. Another situation could be where you may think that the things you are interested to have a conversation about are probably way too new for them and the aspect of being relatable might be missing.
Whichever the case is, what you can do is have a quick look up for conversation starters so that you can not only be able to have something to talk about, but also something that maybe you can bond over.
4. Involve Your Kids
If you have kids at home, this may be the best way of cheering your parents up. We all know that the affection of kids can do wonders. Not only will your parents love to spend time with their grandkids but playing with them will liven up their mood which eventually means a healthy lifestyle for them.
Hence, make sure that from a young age, your kids feel attached to their grandparents so that they can also contribute to the health and wellbeing of them and learn some core values along with it.
5. Home Monitoring Systems
Coming towards more practical ways which are also necessary for elderly health care, if you are extremely busy and find it very hard to watch out for your parents all the time, maybe installing a home monitor system could ease your work.
While it may not be ideal for every situation, it is surely very helpful for emergencies. Even when or someone else is in the house, there can be a possibility of not noticing an accident that may have taken place. Hence, it is always great to have a backup when it comes to senior care.
6. Hire a Caregiver
While all the above points stay valid and will always be significant to incorporate from your end, having a caregiver for home service might be the best way of caring for elderly parents. The reason why this option works best is that not only is it better than shifting them to some residential place where care is provided, it also gives them a sense of belonging.
A caregiver can perform various tasks from providing HHA (Home Health Aide) to taking care of medicine reminders to other light housekeeping tasks like laundry, cooking, dressing, and bathing. They not only provide non-medical care but also serve as a friend that your elderly parent might need.
We at Xtreme Care believe that every aging parent deserves the best care that they can access from the comfort of their home. Hence, while we believe that all the other tasks need to be performed by their children, they also require a caregiver who can take care of everything else when they are not available. For any further assistance for home care services or information, feel free to give us a call at 718-461-9602 or drop an email at [email protected] so that we can take the process forward!