When we’re children, our parents look after us, but as they age, the roles are often reversed. Aging parents might need more help with everyday tasks than usual, such as preparing meals, shopping for groceries, and getting around. Perhaps they are feeling lonely, and need you around to keep them company more often. While most of us love to care for our parents and give back after their lifetime of being there for us, there’s no denying that being responsible for the care of an elderly parent can be difficult to juggle around work and our own personal and family time. Here are some top tips to help you juggle family life with caring for your mom or dad.
Involve Them in Family Activities
If you normally go grocery shopping as a family, invite grandma to come along with you and pick up her groceries too, or pick up groceries for her as part of your family’s shop – that way, you won’t need to make two trips in the week. If you have children, you’ll know just how much grandparents love to spend time with them, so invite them along to family outings and other events you have planned; not only does it allow you to spend time with your parents, but your kids will be making happy memories with grandpa and grandma too.
Consider Assisted Living
Most elderly people would prefer to stay as independent as possible, and if that sounds like your mom or dad, then the good news is that there are plenty of things that you can do to help them stay as independent as possible during their golden years. If your parent needs special care or assistance, an assisted living facility can be a better choice compared to a nursing home as it will still allow them to have their own space and that degree of independence while being part of a friendly community with access to care and support when they need it. You’ve also got peace of mind knowing that somebody is there for them at the assisted living facility when you’re at home.
Provide Mobility Tools
Perhaps one of the most frustrating areas of aging is not being able to move around like you once could. If you’ve noticed that your parents are getting frustrated because they’re struggling to do as much as they used to, consider investing in a mobility tool for them. There are a variety of power-folding wheelchairs to choose from, which are really handy for getting around and can easily be folded down to put in the car if you’re taking grandpa along for a day at the park or the beach too. These electric wheelchairs are also really simple to use and will help your parent retain as much independence as possible; getting to the store will be a breeze.
Have a Schedule
Getting into a good routine is key when juggling family life with caring for an aging parent. The last thing that you want is to end up forgetting about important things that need to be done, or having to let your parent down at the last minute if something comes up. While it might occasionally be unavoidable, the best way to prevent mishaps and routine breaks is to stick to a schedule. And, knowing that you are going to visit at a certain time or certain days can help to ease any anxieties that your parent is having about aging and this new chapter in their life.
Juggling your family life with caring for an aging parent isn’t always easy, but it’s definitely worth it to be there for mom and dad after they’ve done so much for you. With some support and a little planning, you can make it easy for everybody.