Tips for Taking Care of an Elderly Parent at Home

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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

Taking care of an elderly parent in your home full-time can be a big challenge. This is true whether they previously used to come over to stay for short visits or even to stay for a longer time. 

Taking on the care of an elderly loved one full time is a lot of work and if you are apprehensive about it you are not alone. If you have been finding caring for your elderly parent overwhelming, here are some tips that will help.

Discuss Expectations

One of the things you must discuss with your elderly parent is your expectations and theirs. If you haven't lived with your parent in a long while this will be a huge change in the dynamic of your relationship. 

You are essentially switching roles with them and taking on a role that they had with you when you were younger. This can be difficult for both you and your parent. This is why you both need to discuss the expectations that you have.

Make Your Home Safe

Making the safety of your home a priority is something that you must do when you are taking care of an elderly parent. Just as you would put safety measures in place if you were to bring home a new baby or even a puppy you must make sure that you do the same for your elderly parent. 

This is especially true if they have certain illnesses that can affect their mobility.

You may need to make room on the lower level of your home if your parent is at risk for falls. You may also need to put safety measures in place in your bathrooms as well, to ensure that they don't slip and fall when they are taking a shower.

Know Their Needs

Understanding the needs of your parent is also extremely important. You will need to understand their nutritional needs as well as your needs for activities such as exercise.

If they have challenges with mobility you need to bear their hygiene in mind as well. This can be a lot to keep track of and is always a good idea to employ someone to help out, especially if you have a job.

Make sure that you do due diligence before employing anyone to look after your elderly parent. This is because depending on how vulnerable your parent is they may encounter emotional abuse, physical abuse, and even financial abuse.

If this does happen you can hire an elder abuse attorney to help. 

Take Care of Yourself

Taking care of an elderly parent is a big job but while you are caring for your parents make sure that you are also taking care of yourself as well. Caregiver burnout is very real and to reduce the risk of experiencing it, you need to make time for self-care. 

Take breaks whenever you can, and pamper yourself, this will make everything a lot easier to manage.

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