Aging ParentsAfter years of being cared for, there comes a time when many of us take on the mantle of providing help and support for our parents. As your parents get older, they may become increasingly dependent. It’s highly likely that you want to do the best job possible, so here is a guide to help you navigate the transition from child to caregiver.

Assess your parents’ needs

This may sound a little formal, but it’s so beneficial to have an accurate picture of what your parents require from you in terms of help and support. You may find yourself in a situation where your parents need round the clock care. In contrast, you might find that they just need help with getting out to the shops, cooking or keeping the backyard in check. Have a chat with your parents, see how they’re getting on at home, and think about what you could do to benefit them. If they have underlying health conditions, or they need medical care, as well as help with daily tasks like getting washed and dressed, it may be useful to look at options like home care services or care homes likes If, on the other hand, they just need a helping hand from time to time, you may be able to fulfill this role or join forces with siblings, neighbors and close friends. Once you know what is required, you can explore all the options and find a solution that suits your parents.

Promoting health and wellbeing

It’s very common for both physical and mental health to deteriorate as we get older. While it’s not possible to prevent every disease or illness, there are certain steps you can take to try and keep your parents healthy for as long as possible. Many older people find it difficult to cook as they get older. If you’re able to spend a little extra time in your kitchen, you could help out by batch cooking meals and then freezing individual portions that can be used during the week. Another option worth exploring is a healthy meals delivery service. Exercise is also hugely beneficial for older people. While it may not be possible for your dad to run for miles anymore, any kind of physical activity will bring rewards. Go out for walks together, take a trip to the pool, or look into local sessions and exercise groups that are aimed at seniors. Exercise helps to lower the risk of strokes, heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis, and it can also reduce stress and anxiety and provide great opportunities to socialize and make new friends. For more information about the benefits of exercise for older people, you may find this article useful

Mental health is a real concern for older people, and one of the best ways to improve wellbeing and lift the spirits is to connect with others. If your parents find it hard to get out and about, you could offer lifts or look into transport services to enable them to keep in touch with friends and attend group activities.

If you’re responsible for your parents’ care, or you’re keen to help them make the best lifestyle choices, hopefully, you’ll find this guide helpful.

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