Taking care of a sick, elderly parent is one of the most difficult jobs in the world. It’s hard to care for yourself, let alone another person you love dearly. In this article, we will share five helpful tips for taking care of your elderly parents. Take a look.
Check for Medications
Taking care of a sick parent’s medications involves asking them about any prescription, over-the-counter, and dietary supplements they take. You should also ask them if they have allergies, especially to food and medication.
Also, check for medical devices that they use daily or regularly. These include pacemakers, hearing aid batteries, dentures, and glasses frames. If they wear a medical device or have something that needs often replacing, make sure you keep an extra set handy so that you won’t have trouble finding replacements in case one runs out unexpectedly.
If your elderly parent has any medical needs, such as catheters or feeding tubes, ensure these are working properly. This becomes crucial when you are away for work and have assigned a caregiver to look after your parents. Be sure that the caregiver understands how to use the equipment and respond to your elderly’s specific needs in your absence.
Talk to Your Parent
When you first talk to your parent about their health or any concerns you may have, do so in a way that feels comfortable for them. This can be as simple as saying, “How are you feeling today?” or “What would help you feel better?”. If you need to ask more direct questions, try asking them in a way that doesn’t sound accusatory or like an interrogation: “I’m worried about how tired you’ve been lately” or “I’m concerned about how much pain you’re having.”
Make the Necessary Medical Arrangements
You must understand what kind of care your parent needs and where they should receive it. If they will only stay with you for a short time and need basic care, then making arrangements at home is probably fine. If they will stay longer or require more intensive care, finding a facility that can accommodate their needs is likely a better option.
Find out if Your Parent Needs Help with Practical Tasks
When taking care of a sick parent, make sure you know what tasks you can help them with and how. For example, if your parent is sick and has trouble moving around, doing laundry or cleaning their room might be some tasks you can help them with. If they have trouble getting dressed in the morning, maybe setting up their clothes the night before would be helpful.
Ask What You Can Do for Them
Whether the issue is physical, emotional, or both, understanding what your parent needs from you is important. And this is not just what they say they need but what they’re actually feeling. You can’t help if you don’t know what’s going on.
Also, listen closely to their response to your questions and act accordingly. If they say they want to be left alone, respect that and don’t try to force them into the conversation. If they say they want you by their side at all times, make sure to stay close enough in case they need assistance with something small like getting water, medication or picking up the remote control.
Over to You
Not many of us like to talk about it, but caring for a sick elderly parent can be more stressful than you might imagine. We hope this article will provide you with useful information to help with that stress and make this process go much more smoothly.