As hard as it can be to watch our parents age and become more fragile, ageing is a natural and unavoidable part of life. Elderly parents can suffer from various problems some which can be out of our control and beyond our limitations.
Supporting Elderly Parents
Help is available to improve both their quality of life as well as your own, local support groups, as well as daily living aids, can both be beneficial. Visit your local library or GP surgery as they will have information on local groups or day care centres as well as having leaflets on various conditions your parents may be suffering from. Your local Doctors surgery will also be able to arrange help if your parents need additional aids installed in their own home such as handrails in the shower or mobility and walking aids.
Accept the situation
Sometimes outside help is required and introducing carers and a care package is the only feasible option. Providing your parents with additional help shouldn’t be seen as a failure but as an aid in providing them with the best care and support you can offer.
Don’t take on more than you can handle
Juggling your own home, family life, work and elderly parents can be a challenge that incurs many obstacles and disappointments. Don’t overstretch yourself which could lead to exhaustion and illness, ask for help and be realistic in what you can achieve.
Speak to a Doctor
Behavioural changes can be a daunting prospect when caring for elderly parents, depression can arise particularly for those that live alone or struggle with mobility issues. More serious conditions such as Dementia or Alzheimer’s can be noticed by personality changes. If you are concerned your parent is suffering from a condition which is affecting their behaviour, then speak to your doctor as they will be able to alleviate your worries and get you the help you require.
Monitor their eating and drinking
Keeping track of what your parents are eating and drinking can be a challenge but is a useful tool in identifying possible behavioural changes or mood swings. Headaches, UTIs or bowel issues can all be linked to dehydration or dietary issues. Daily living aids such as a Droplet Hydration Kit can be hugely beneficial in helping them retain independence and stay hydrated throughout the day. If motor problems are an issue, then they may struggle to hold cutlery or pick up heavy mugs and plates. Look into purchasing adapted cutlery and cups or mugs that are lighter and with easy to grasp handles. Try to make eating and drinking a social activity as this will allow you to monitor their intake and they may consume more by mirroring your own actions.