It can be very hard to look after an elderly parent at home. If you’re fortunate enough to have the room to spare then for most of us it’s a no brainer to open up our homes and care for them as they cared for us. Here are our top 5 tips for caring for an elderly parent at home.
1. Help them feel at home
It’s quite a big step to admit that you can’t live on your own any more for whatever reason and it’s important to try to put yourself in your parents shoes. Why not re-decorate their bedroom in the style you know they like, bring bedding from their previous home to use and where possible house some of their furniture. Make sure you include photographs and other items that have sentimental value so that they feel at home.
2. Be prepared
You do need to be prepared for a decline in health and ability. By having a few gadgets up your sleeve it will help you to care for your parent if they become ill. Having things such as a blood pressure monitor and an Oxygen Concentrator would be worthwhile. You might want to consider a non-slip mat to put in the shower or bath and perhaps a nightlight in case they need to get up during the night. Depending on your parent’s mobility there are other items such as grab rails or ramps which might be beneficial too.
3. Involve them
Try to involve them in tasks that they are able to do so that they feel less of a burden. My mum loves pottering in the garden. Asking her to re-pot hanging baskets and window boxes or dead head the roses gives her a sense of achievement and she feels very happy to have saved me a job. It might be that your parent can help listen to their grandchildren do their reading practice or involve them in completing a puzzle. Or perhaps they are still a keen cook, in which case they can have a sense of purpose by shopping for and then cooking a meal for you all.
4. Have a routine
Most people enjoy having a routine. Your parent might find it useful to know what is happening during the course of the week. Write out a schedule so they can see who is where and when. I’m sure they would appreciate being able to ask a grandchild how their after-school club went or how your lunch meeting was. If you can, try to have some regular items during the week where you all come together such as a Friday night movie or Sunday lunch.
5. Ask them about themselves
This is a wonderful opportunity to ask your parent about their memories and for you to ask any questions about the family tree.
I hope this post helps in some way if you are are currently caring for an elderly parent at home. Please know that you are doing a great job and that by even reading this post, it means that you care. If you have any comments or tips of your own, please do let us know?