Caring For Your Parents As They Get Older

Old mother and her daughter

When you are growing up, your parents are the ones that take care of you. They make sure that you have enough to eat, give you a roof over your head, and are there for you whenever you need to talk to someone who really understands and cares. It seems as if they are going to live forever – and it is hard to imagine the day when they start to slow down or need your help to cope with life.

That’s why it is so surprising when you finally realize that your parents are starting to get on in years. Perhaps they are not as agile as they used to be, or they may find it a bit difficult to handle all of the day’s challenges. When you reach this point, it is often very difficult to know what the best approach to take is. On the one hand, your parents are still your parents, so you don’t want to take control away from them. On the other hand, you want to make sure that they are safe and secure, and it is clear they might not be unless things change.

The single most important thing you can ask yourself is whether your parents are able to continue living in their own home. If they are, this is the best thing for them – it is somewhere they know, it has happy memories, and they will still feel that they are in charge of their lives. Many more people are doing this now as they age – in fact, aging in place is becoming a common trend in the US, and there are lots of resources available to help people who want to do this.

If your parents need more attention than you are able to give them, one option is to arrange for care in their home. You should be able to find a reputable homecare organization in your area – ask around to find people who already use a homecare organization, and ask them for feedback and recommendations. Alternatively, look on sites that review local services to find a good provider – Angie’s List is a decent place to start for this, since they check that all the reviews on the site are legitimate.

Old man with nurse

Sometimes, however, there is no way that your parents can stay at home and it is time to find them a good retirement community. Even if your parents don’t need full-time care, try to find a community that has a good range of services available, like senior villas in Reading, PA. Even if your parents don’t need full-time care, try to find a community that has a good range of services available. This will make it easier for your parents to get to the doctor – and even have the occasional meal out. Quite a few retirement communities offer on-site healthcare, and also have amenities such as restaurants – so finding the right home should be fairly straightforward. The other advantage with this approach is that when your parents finally do need more care, they won’t have to move out to another facility.

No matter what options you have, remember to respect your parents’ wishes and preferences in this matter. Nobody wants to feel obsolete and transitions can be hard for people when they get older, so be patient and handle with care.

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Online marketing consultant and trained life coach, living in Brisbane in Australia. One day, I got tired of being a number and found personal growth :)

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