Are Your Parents Needs Being Met As They Get Older?
April 2, 2021
As parents, we spend so much time being concerned with the needs of our own kids as they move from one stage of development to the next, that we can easily forget the other members of our family who have needs that are just as real. As your parents get older, they will reach a critical stage when they may not be as well equipped to take care of their own needs as they used to. Here are some key concerns that you should keep in mind when it’s time to check that their needs are being met.
Are they getting the exercise that they need?
Physical activity is important at any age and perhaps becomes even more crucial as we get older. As we age, we lose our range of motion and physical capabilities a little easier. Look at websites like Seniorlifestyle for simple exercises they can do to make sure that they are moving their body. You can talk to their doctor for exercises that are safe for them to do if their mobility is already somewhat compromised or they live with any chronic health conditions that might make certain forms of exercises a little too strenuous or high-risk for them. Aside from helping them maintain and even regain some mobility, the right exercises can help reduce the effects of arthritis as well as the risks of blood clots forming.
Keeping the mind active
Think of the brain as a muscle, too. The more we leave parts of it to disuse, the more likely that those parts are to atrophy. Even the sharpest tool in the drawer can start to dull if it’s not taken care of. We get mental stimulation in a lot of ways, from having the right company and conversation to getting involved in and learning about new topics, and more. If your parent does plenty of this, then you likely have nothing to worry about. However, it can be a good idea to encourage them to get into puzzles, whether you buy puzzle books, find puzzle apps for their mobile phone (if they like using them) or otherwise.
Connecting them with the world
Another crucial form of mental and emotional stimulation is having company, care, and community. If it has been a while since you reached out, even to ask if they are OK, then you should do it. You can go a step further and use the net to help them find hobby and social groups they can take part in if you’re worried that they have lost touch with their friends, too. A lot of older people get all the social interaction they need as their family grows, but it is important to make sure they’re not feeling isolated, as it is a huge mental and emotional health risk and even increases the risks of dementia.
Meeting their daily needs
Of course, the real physical independence of a person can start to be at risk as they get older. You may not notice it if you don’t live with them, but clothing, feeding, bathing, and transport can all become a lot more challenging. Ask your parent how they are getting on and observe them in their own home, especially if they live alone. You might need to start talking about options like Primecarers if you find that they are having more difficulty meeting their everyday needs. Respite carers can help your loved ones meet needs throughout the day as much as they require, without having to leave their own home to do so.
Ensuring their safety
Leaving the last for the most important, you need to make sure that your parent is safe where they live. In most cases, this means getting a good idea of how independently they can live and, if they have trouble, trying to make their environment safer. A carer can help them take care of those needs so it doesn’t pose as much of an issue, but you can also look into making adaptations to the home in order to make it safer and easier for them to navigate, as well. This can include things like seating areas in the shower, rails for the toilet, stairlifts, and more. Go over an assessment of the home and ask what changes can be made it make it safer.
The topic of a parent’s wellbeing when they get older can be quite sensitive, so you have to be sensitive to them, as well. Broach the topics above with care and concern at the forefront of your mind.
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