Mistakes to Avoid When Caring for Your Aging Parent
Caring for an aging parent can be incredibly rewarding. It can open the door for new memories to be made, allowing seniors to spend precious time with those they love most. At United Methodist Communities, we understand that while there are plenty of great things that come with it, caring for a senior parent can have its challenges, too.
Based on our experiences, here are some very important areas that you can focus on to make sure your loved one receives the best level of care possible.
1. Neglecting Self Care
One that is often overlooked while caring for an aging parent is the nurturing of self-care. Emphasizing and prioritizing self-care is essential for your loved one’s overall well-being and can result in a better quality of daily living. By reminding them to attend regular checkups and appointments, stressing a well-balanced diet, and encouraging regular exercise, you can play a role in advocating for your parent’s self-care. It is also important to remember that self-care extends to the mind. Promoting a positive mindset and environment and encouraging social connections can ensure your loved one ages gracefully, while prioritizing their own health and happiness.
2. Lack of Communication
It can easily be taken for granted, but maintaining an open line of consistent communication with your aging parent is a crucial element of care. By staying engaged in meaningful conversations, you are showing your love and providing them with a lifeline that fosters understanding, support, and emotional well-being. When caring for an older adult, make sure they know that they are being heard and are an active part of the discussion – whether it pertains to medical concerns, managing medications, or adapting care plans. This provides seniors with a rightful sense of autonomy and dignity, while having the reassurance that they are actively involved in decisions about their own well-being.
3. Overlooking Safety Concerns
Speaking of communication, a regular dialogue about your aging parent’s health and physical limitations is vital when helping to create an environment for them that minimizes risks and promotes overall safety. You can do this by implementing certain safety features at their home, such as handrails, non-slip surfaces, and adequate lighting. Also, be proactive about potential obstacles like loose rugs, clutter, or icy surfaces in the colder seasons. Addressing these hazards before they become an issue will positively contribute to a safer living environment.
4. Assuming All Responsibilities
It is common for those with an aging parent to shoulder all the caregiving tasks on their own, but it is important to remember that it is okay to ask for support. Caring for an older loved one takes a team effort, so work on sharing responsibilities and delegating tasks with family members, if possible. You can determine a care plan based on each individual’s strengths and availability. A more evenly distributed workload will lead to a smoother flow of care and make things easier for everyone involved. If you notice that your parent requires more assistance, don’t be afraid to reach out to a professional. Home Health Aides and Companions can help supplement your efforts and provide specialized care.
Resources for Caregivers
For more insight and support on caring for your aging parents, or if you have any questions about our full-service assisted living communities in NJ, please contact our team at UMC today and visit our website at: https://umcommunities.org.