Tag Archives: caring for your parents

5 Ways to Improve the Quality of Life for Seniors

By Guest Blogger, Diana S,

5 Ways to Improve the Quality of Life for Seniors

 

With the passing of years, many seniors’ quality of life declines. They socialize less, their health often deteriorates and they lose their positivity and optimism. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. By taking care of their physical and mental health, as well as seeing to their other needs, their life quality can be significantly improved, and here are some ways how.

Remind them they’re loved, useful and needed

In big, urban areas such as Sydney, moving to a different part of the city could easily mean that you can’t make it to visit your parents or other elderly relatives as often as you’d like. This can make them feel neglected and forgotten. Don’t allow this to happen. Even if you can’t be with them in person every day, you can still find ten minutes to call them and ask how they are or tell them about your day. This way, they’ll know you’re thinking of them and love them. Also, if they live in your household, always give them tasks to do so that they feel useful, rather than feeling like a burden. Ask them to fold the clean laundry or to make the shopping list. They can also help by taking care of your kids once in a while, or simply walking to the newsagent’s to get the newspaper.

Deal with their depression

Several million people over the age of 65 suffer from depression. It can be triggered by certain stressful life events like losing their spouse or retiring, but also by losing their sense of purpose or being unable to take care of themselves. You don’t have to wait to notice the symptoms of depression. Instead, after these life-changing events, suggest that your elders visit a therapist or a psychologist preventively. However, if you do notice symptoms of depression, react straight away and get them treated.

Get them to socialize

Company and communication can have a vital effect on seniors’ health, so encourage them to spend as much time as they can with family, friends and neighbors they like. Hint that they could use social networks to get in touch with some of their old friends from university, school or their hometown. They can even organize tea parties, movie- or game nights. They should also try expanding their circle of friends through volunteering or going to various community events. Another option for them is to move to a retirement home, such as the award-winning Mark Moran Little Bay. Choosing this type of home for your seniors will provide them with around-the-clock medical care, while also tending to all their other needs, including socialization. They have shared spaces which are perfect for community engagement, which is exactly what everybody needs – being surrounded by people of similar age and interests.

Encourage them to exercise

Regular exercise might add years to a person’s life, and if they remain fit, those years may actually be healthy and pleasant. Physical exercise can increase their vitality, improve their strength and even promote their mental health. It can make them more optimistic and boost their self-esteem. Make sure that your seniors don’t just sit at home, but have them on their feet, walking as much as they can. Something in the line of 10,000 steps a day would be ideal, but if they can’t do that much, anything is better than nothing. It would be even more beneficial if they joined an exercise group, so that they can be surrounded by other people while working on improving their overall health. If they have painful joints, see if there are any exercise groups for seniors at your local swimming pool. Finally, physical activity will help them sleep better, which is crucial in order to keep a sharp mind and have their energy renewed.

Make sure their meals are healthy and meaningful

The food your seniors eat should be rich in nutrients, and not high in calories. Since metabolism slows down with age and the body needs less energy, make sure they eat salmon and other types of fish, as well as leafy greens, which will provide them with nutrients without causing them to gain unnecessary weight. Their meals should be healthy and balanced, but if you notice that they’ve lost their appetite, maybe you could try seasoning the food differently or making the food look nice on the plate. Also, try turning their meals into social events, by eating together as often as possible or by inviting their friends or other family members for dinner whenever you can.

Most elders simply want some of your time, patience and a kind word here and there. So, always be kind, gentle and helpful, and do your best to make their lives worth living.

 Tia, and TipsfromTia.com  is trying to keep you looking good and
feeling good, from the inside out. If you’ve got a problem or a tip email me! Be sure to Like and share on Facebook or Follow on Twitter or Instagram.

Care At Home – Or In A Home: The Big Question With Aging Parents

Care At Home – Or In A Home: The Big Question With Aging Parents

Nobody can predict the future. And while I could hazard a guess that most of you reading this post would love to allow their parents to age gracefully in their own home – or even yours – you just can’t tell what might happen. Illnesses, repetitive injuries, and complicated psychological issues could all play their part. And even if you do make the decision that you will definitely be your parent’s caregiver, who’s to say you will be in a position to do it when the time comes?

There are a lot of considerations to think about – and to be honest, it is almost impossible to make a decision now, without knowing what the future holds. But the sooner we all start thinking about things, the more prepared we will be to make that important decision. With this in mind, here are a few things you should be thinking about right now, so you are ready to deal with them in the years to come.

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Emotional cost

Yes, sending your parents to a residential home is going to be expensive. But you might be surprised to learn that there are enormous costs involved when they need care in their home, too. Millions of people all over the country care for ageing and ill parents and relatives and an increasing number are providing hands-on care. It’s a lot of work. Unless you can afford to pay medical staff and support workers, you can expect it to be a full-time job, and it will be incredibly draining, stressful, and can take you away from bringing up your own family.

Financial cost

Money has to be taken into account. As much as we would all love to say it makes no difference, the cost of caring for a parent at home is significant. You may need to give up your job, pay for medical services, and maybe even shell out for adaptations to your parent’s home – or yours. In short, whether you choose a care home or look after your folks yourself, there is a chance it will have a profound effect on your finances.

Approaching the end

There will come a time when your folks will be close to the end. And if they are suffering from something like end-stage cancer palliative care is of vital importance. Your loved one will be undergoing a lot of pain, and be experiencing the impact of a massive array of symptoms. They will need doctors to treat them, nurses to care for them, and also people who can provide them with the psychological support they require. While many people prefer to see out their days at home, there are some scenarios where getting help from a professional setting will be better for everyone.

The guilt

Unless money is no object, at some point you are going to have to make a choice – and live with it. Either way, you are going to feel guilty. On the one hand, if you decide on residential care, you might have to go against the wishes of your parents. But on the other, keeping them at home may prevent them from receiving the care they need to live out their days comfortably, or the support they need in the event of an emergency. Whichever direction you end up choosing, you have to remember that you will still be a big part of the care team, but you will also have to accept reality.

It’s a tough call, for sure. But hopefully, these factors will help you feel a little better about making a decision when the time comes. Hopefully, that won’t be for many years…

Tia, and TipsfromTia.com  is trying to keep you looking good and
feeling good, from the inside out. If you’ve got a problem or a tip email me! Be sure to Like and share on Facebook or Follow on Twitter or Instagram

How to Know When Your Elderly Parent Needs Help

Anxiety Can Be Killer – But you Needn’t Let It Rule Your Life

Unfortunately our parents getting older is an inevitable part of life. Sometimes the aging process is gradual and sometimes our parents can change very quickly and it is down to us to figure out what they need and how we can approach any declining mental or physical health problems.

It is not always easy to know when extra help is necessary and sometimes the little warning signs can go unnoticed. So here are our tips on how to recognise that things need to change, how to do everything that you can to make sure your elderly loved one has everything that they need and how to plan for the future.

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The Warning Signs

There are many warning signs that we need to look out for to make sure that our elderly parents are ok and coping on their own. First of all if you visit them and notice that their normally spick and span home has become untidy and unhygienic then this is a warning sign that the day to days tasks in the home may have become too much for them to cope with.

The same applies to their appearance. If you have noticed that your parent has stopped putting so much effort into their appearance and look uncharacteristically disheveled or unclean then this is also a big warning sign.

Changes in their physical well being needs to be looked out for as any joint problems or physical illnesses will prevent them from being able to go about their daily life. Changes in your parent’s mood can indicate a problem as can any unexplained bruising or cuts on their body. Whether you see that your parent is suffering from mood swings, forgetfulness or depressive behaviour this could be a sign that you need to reach out for help.

You are Struggling

If you find that you are really struggling to take care of your elderly parent alone, or with the help of your family, that is a solid sign that you are going to need some extra help. If you feel that the time has come for you to look into assisted living then go online and find out what options and residences are available in your area. Find help at www.McKnightPlace.com/assisted-living or a similar assisted living facility in your local community, or in the area that your parent lives, to start discussing the options out there. It can be a difficult decision to make, so you will need to make sure that you are reaching out to people in the care community to better understand the options available to you and your family.

Perhaps you still feel that your parent is still able to live in their home, or at home with you, but the day to day caring of that parent is proving too much to handle on your own. In which case you may want to consider hiring a full-time or part-time caregiver that will be able to spend time with your parent caring for them and keeping them company. Find out more information at www.AgeAction.com Don’t feel that you have to do it all on your own if you are feeling like the strain is too much, remember there are many options available for you to receive help.

Tia, and TipsfromTia.com  is trying to keep you looking good and
feeling good, from the inside out. If you’ve got a problem or a tip email me! Be sure to Like and share on Facebook or Follow on Twitter or Instagram

Tell-Tale Signs Your Elderly Parents Need Help

Tell-Tale Signs Your Elderly Parents Need Help

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Aging comes to us all, no matter how strong and healthy we may be. We will all have to deal with at some point, but before old age affects our own health, the first hurdle we will have to face is coping with elderly parents. As our parents get older, we will need to take a lot more care and attention of them as they become frail and weak. However, not many elderly parents want help from their children, no matter how much they need it. So how do you know when it is time to step in and make sure your elderly parents get all the help they need? Here are the tell-tale signs.

Home And Garden Maintenance Increases

Next time you go around to your parent’s home to visit them, take a look at the property and see how it looks. If there is quite a bit of maintenance that needs doing and repairs that need to be made, this could be a sign that your parents are struggling to cope with some household jobs and tasks. You could suggest to your parents that you start going around once a week to help them maintain their home. If you don’t have enough time, what with work and your own family, you might prefer to hire a gardener or handyman who can take care to bring their home and garden up to scratch.

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Out Of Date Groceries

It is also worth taking a look in your parents’ kitchen and looking at the expiry date on all their fresh groceries. Are there quite a few that are out of date or have spoiled? If so, this could also be a sign that your parents are struggling to cope at home. They may have kept hold of expired groceries rather than go to the supermarket to buy fresh ones. This could be because they are getting quite frail, and can’t cope with a weekly shop at their local supermarket. It could also be a sign of a developing illness, such as Alzheimer’s, and their forgetfulness could be a symptom.

Poor Personal Hygiene

Do you notice a distinct funky smell when you visit your parents now? It may not be a nice thought, but maybe it’s your parents? As we get older, we often forget things and try to get by without doing too much. As a result, many elderly people forget to wash every day or feel that they don’t need to. You should ask your parents and make sure that they still keep up with their personal hygiene. There are some other signs to look out for that are giveaways of poor personal hygiene. For instance, very long nails, unkempt hair, and poor oral hygiene.

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Not Eating Regularly

One sign which lots of people notice in their parents is that they lose any interest in preparing meals and eating. They may also not be eating at regular intervals. This can be a difficult sign to notice at first, especially if you don’t visit them at meal times. One way to spot this change in their behavior, though, is to keep an eye on their weight. If you notice that they start to lose weight quite quickly, then they probably aren’t eating right. Offer to cook for them a few night’s a week or invite them over to yours for dinner to ensure that they get one good meal in them.

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Their Mobility Declines

Are your parents struggling to get around their house? They might find that getting up and down the stairs is now a struggle. If so, and they don’t want to relocate to a bungalow, you could always suggest that they think about the possibility of home lifts or chairlifts. These will help them get upstairs and downstairs with ease, allowing them to go about their usual activities. If your parents find it also hard to walk and balance on level ground, it may be time to get them a walking stick or zimmer frame. In some extreme cases, a wheelchair may be necessary.

Their Driving Is Becoming Very Dangerous

As we get older, we start to lose our sight and our hand-eye coordination becomes quite poor. This has a direct effect on our driving. If your parents start to get into more bother when they are out driving – maybe they end up committing more driving violations and end up causing a couple of accidents – then it could be time to make them stop driving. However, they may not be too happy with this idea as it can greatly limit their independence! But you need to tell them that it is for their own safety. Lots of towns and villages are now well connected with public transport routes, and many elderly people will be able to get discounts on their travel tickets. Explain this to them, and they should start to come round to the idea. You should also offer to give them a lift whenever you are free to do so.

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They Now Lose Track Of Medication

Most elderly people are on various types of medication. Each different type will require your parents to take a certain dose at varying intervals. This can be quite difficult for old people to keep on top of. If you notice that your parents are starting to lose track of their medication, they might need some help every day to take their tablets. If they can’t keep on top of their medicine, and there is no one to help them with it every day, then they might end up having to be hospitalized. One way to help them keep on track is to create a daily schedule for them. Write out exactly what they need to take on each day of the week, and how often.

Watching our parents age can be very distressing and upsetting indeed. However, if you are able to spot the tell-tale signs that they are struggling with their age, you will be able to help them take better care of themselves.

Tia, and TipsfromTia.com  is trying to keep you looking good and
feeling good, from the inside out. If you’ve got a problem or a tip email me! Be sure to Like and share on Facebook or Follow on Twitter or Instagram.

Becoming A Full Time Carer For Your Parent – What You Need To Know

Becoming A Full Time Carer For Your Parent – What You Need To Know

You might be a busy working mom taking care of your family right now. But if your parents are aging, chances are you’re spending more and more time taking care of them too. It’s really hard to juggle the needs of your young family with the needs of your parents now they are senior citizens. And it probably feels quite peculiar that your role in the relationship is reversing. After two decades of taking care of you in your youth, you need to now care for them.

So what happens when ill health and age make your parents too frail to be independent? Are you ready and willing to do what is needed to help them? It’s a huge ask. Many people would find it too difficult at this busy time in their lives to become a full-time caregiver. Sadly, more and more of us need to step up to the challenge. Private care is so expensive now. And our parents may be very reluctant or financially unable to enter the care home system.

You may have siblings that are willing to share the care arrangements. Be wary of this, though. You’ll both have occasions when you need or want to pass the buck. This can cause friction in your relationship with your brother or sister. And if your parent finds out about the bickering, this can make the whole situation extremely awkward and unpleasant. Personal relationships within your own family can become strained too. You will sometimes be unavailable to your partner and kids as you care for your parents. Are they ready for you to become a caregiver?

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Your mental health can suffer from the stress and worry of caring. You need to make sure you can have plenty of breaks from the duties you need to undertake. There may be lots of personal care tasks to perform as time goes on. You and your parent might prefer to hire a nurse or caregiver for things like managing the toileting or bathing. Of course, there are closed system catheters that can help when things become more difficult for your parent to manage.

As well as caring for your parent, you will need to regularly check the living arrangements are suitable for everyone. Things change in such a short space of time. You might start by looking after your parent in their home. Later, it may be necessary to choose small, single story accommodation. And eventually, it may be essential that your parent is cared for around the clock. You may choose to move them into your family home.

So how do you cope with your parent in your home all day every day? It can feel crowded at first, and you will undoubtedly need a period of settling in. But there can be some advantages to this. You can make sure your parent is eating and drinking enough. You can use the quality time for some bonding. And it means your entire family can become close with them too. We usually move our parents in with us when we’re concerned about their safety. You’ll know their risks of injury will be dramatically reduced. Take care.

Tia, and TipsfromTia.com  is trying to keep you looking good and
feeling good, from the inside out. If you’ve got a problem or a tip email me! Be sure to Like and share on Facebook or Follow on Twitter or Instagram.