Everyone needs a little bit of help as we get older, and our parents are no exception. When our parents need our help for their day-to-day lives, it can become difficult to stay on top of everything important to both them and us. So how do you properly care for your parents as they get older?
The most important thing when caring for aging parents is to make sure you understand their needs and to know whether you’re capable of meeting them. If you are, there are several important things to look out for: their overall health, their overall safety, and their overall happiness.
If caring for your parents is no longer something you can do on your own, it may be time to look into assisted living or memory care community options near you. Contact Auburn Hill Senior Living today to learn more about these communities and whether they’re the right choice for your loved ones.
The Basics of Caring for Your Parents
When the care of your parents is fully your responsibility, it’s common to feel a little overwhelmed. After all, it can be difficult to try and live your life while taking care of someone else’s. It’s important to avoid taking on too much responsibility at once — you don’t want to suffer from caregiver burnout, after all.
The first thing you should do is communicate with your parent to make sure you properly understand their needs. Do they just need a hand cleaning up their house and maintaining the property, or do they need around-the-clock care with hygiene and physical care?
By determining exactly what they need for their best quality of life, you can make it a lot easier on yourself and reduce as much stress as possible.
Once you understand their needs, begin setting a schedule for when you can help with what they need. If they’re worried about their house becoming too messy, try to set one day a week when you can go over and help them with cleaning. If they need daily help, set times when you can come over and help them with their needs. If you live together, try and set a schedule with your parent that works best for both of you.
By communicating clearly and planning in advance what you’ll be doing, you can reduce a lot of the “maybe, what-if” stress that we’re all prone to in our lives.
Once you have a proper plan set, start looking into what resources you have available to make sure you can properly care for your parent. Some important questions to ask include:
- What’s the financial situation between the two of you? Can you afford any medical care, medication, or assistance if needed?
- Is the property your parent lives at physically suited for them? If they need a wheelchair or have issues with stairs, can ramps or lifts be installed?
- Are there any hazards where they live that need to be addressed, like tripping hazards or maintenance issues?
- What exactly are their daily needs and can you fill them yourself?
- Are they open to assisted living, senior living, or memory care communities (if needed)?
After breaking down exactly what your parent needs to have their best quality of life, it’s time to determine whether or not you can do it all yourself. It’s extremely important to take care of yourself just as much as you’re taking care of your parent.
If you find you aren’t capable of doing everything, it may be time to begin looking into assisted living options. Or, if your loved one is struggling with a memory-affecting condition such as dementia or Alzheimer’s, memory care communities are an excellent option.
Assisted Living and Memory Care for Aging Parents
Sometimes, the best way to care for an aging parent is to understand you can’t do it all yourself.
Caring for somebody full-time, while living your own life and handling other responsibilities, is a quick way to feel severe stress and burnout. If you’re worried about this or experiencing the symptoms of caregiver burnout already, it’s time to start looking at other options.
If your parent is capable of handling most of their day-to-day tasks themselves but needs a hand with smaller things, assisted living is an excellent option.
Assisted living communities exist for seniors who want to stay as independent as possible but need a hand with tasks that give them difficulty. These communities offer apartment or condo-style units that residents can live in and decorate as they see fit, while giving them access to daily assistance, different programs for entertainment, housekeeping options, and all sorts of other amenities to make their life as convenient and pleasant as possible.
For example, at Auburn Hill Senior Living, we have all sorts of on-site resources and amenities for the residents to use however they’d like. We have an on-site library that offers several different classes, a fitness facility, a lakefront area, theatres, and even a pub!
Assisted living communities are designed for residents to be as independent and autonomous as possible while still ensuring they have access to the resources they need for the best quality of life. Each resident has a care plan custom-tailored to their exact needs so they receive the care they need and can keep their independence.
Memory care communities are designed for seniors struggling with memory conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. Since residents struggling with these conditions often need more advanced care, the teams in these communities are specially trained to make sure residents are safe and comfortable.
The teams in these communities consult with the residents’ physicians and other experts in the field to make sure each resident gets exactly what they need for the best level of care possible.
Residents also have access to all sorts of amenities similar to those offered in assisted living. There are classes they can take, entertainment programs, fitness classes, and more; there’s always something to do or someone to talk to!
These communities ensure that anybody struggling from a memory-affecting condition receives the care they need for the best quality of life possible.
How to Know When My Parent Needs Assisted Living or Memory Care
At the end of the day it’s easy to tell. If your parent needs care that you can’t provide, these two options are an excellent choice.
If your parent wants to remain independent but still receive the care they need, assisted living communities are the way to go. If they’re struggling with a condition such as Alzheimer’s or dementia, memory care communities are the best way to make sure they receive the exact care they need.
It isn’t easy to take care of somebody else while still handling your own daily responsibilities. And your own health is just as important as your parents. Communicate openly with them if you’re struggling to do everything yourself and make sure that you’re both on the same page. And if you can’t do it all yourself, it’s time to talk about other options.