Senior Care Solutions: Dealing With Aging Parents With Difficulties
Ah, the empty nest. Your teenagers have moved house. You have time to take a yoga class, have lunch with a friend, or learn a new hobby, until Dad moves in with you because he can no longer live alone. Caring for aging parents is difficult, no matter how much you love them.
Caring for elderly parents can be even more difficult when dad is uncooperative. And even though he’s a grumpy old man, he’s your grumpy old man, and your job is to find an elderly care solution that works for him. Here are 3 common elderly care support problems and how to overcome them:
Not taking medications is one of the main reasons older people are admitted to nursing homes. To avoid nursing home care solutions and keep Mom at home longer, you’ll need to make sure she takes prescription medications.
First, recognize that there may be valid reasons why Mom is refusing to take her pills: nasty side effects, interactions with other prescription drugs, cost concerns, forgetfulness, or dementia. Experts also say there is another possibility: Mom may rebel against the role reversal. This woman, who spent her entire life taking care of her own children, is now forced to take medication in the same way as a 2-year-old.
When she is caring for elderly parents, one way to overcome a drug crash is to allow her to feel some control over the situation. For example, give her the choice of what kind of snack or drink she takes with her pills. Other experts suggest a reward system. For example, she might suggest, “Mom, you can watch your TV show after taking the pills.”
Cultural or generational beliefs actually prevent some older people from sharing important health information or concerns with family and doctors. While the mother’s ability to suffer in silence might qualify her for holiness, it will do nothing to ease discomfort, prolong life, or create solutions for the care of the elderly.
If you are caring for elderly parents who are silently suffering, the family will need to don their Sherlock Holmes hats to oversee their care. Be aware of small changes in behavior or appearance. Are dad’s clothes starting to hang down on his already slim figure? Is your shopping list made up of a few nutrient-free bagels and cans of soda? When was the last time Mom changed the litter box? If you notice small but big changes, you can plan the right solutions for the care of the elderly.
One of the biggest battles many adult children caring for an aging parent face is talking to a parent about giving up a driver’s license. If Mom can no longer see when there is a glare, or if Dad asks passengers to help him figure out distances, he will need to act to keep his parents and fellow drivers safe.
Some experts recommend an intervention. During this meeting, family, friends, and healthcare professionals can share concerns with their parents, as well as data about how their driving performance has deteriorated. In serious situations, you may need to inform your parent at the local Department of Motor Vehicles.
Caring for elderly parents can be challenging, especially when you find that you need to raise your parents. With patience, a little detective work, and compassionate intervention, you can make your elder care solutions more manageable.