As your parents reach their senior years, you’ll begin to notice changes in their physical and cognitive health. You may even need to ask about their health from time to time to stay updated on their condition. At some point, you will have to determine the best type of professional caregiving for your parent’s situation.
Can Your Parent Stay at Home?
You can actually help protect your parent’s cognitive and emotional health by helping them stay in their own home. Seniors who continue to live in their hometown neighborhoods are less likely to experience depression and anxiety. Letting your parent stay in their own home may require a little work on your part. You can make their home safer by adding additional lighting and safety railings. You should also relocate laundry machines from the basement to the main level of the home and lower the positions of shelves and cabinets. Ask your parent about any other changes that will make their daily lives easier.
Should You Hire an In-Home Care Aide?
Even if your parent remains in their home, you should look for signs that they need a little help. If they seem to be missing medication doses, forget to bathe, or seem more forgetful than usual, you should take these signs to mean your parent’s cognitive health is declining. In that case, hiring an in-home caregiving aide may be the best solution. An aide can spend just a few hours each day with your parent. During that time, they will ensure your parent takes their medication, eats healthy meals, and follows good personal hygiene practices. A caregiving aide with integrity and empathy will also provide your parent with socialization and companionship.
Is Assisted Living a Feasible Solution?
An alternative to an in-home caregiving aide is to help your senior parent relocate into an assisted living community. While this type of community doesn’t provide the high level of care that you would expect in a nursing home, they do keep a full staff that can respond to care emergencies. The goal is to provide care as needed, but also to provide a degree of independent living for seniors. They provide amenities and services to help your parents live healthy lives and enjoy themselves. You can also look for a community that’s specially designed for seniors with dementia and other cognitive health issues.
How Can You Choose a Nursing Home?
If your parent needs more consistent care, you will have to look for a nursing home that you can trust. This should involve looking at the staff at each facility to ensure there are enough employees to care for the total number of residents. You should also evaluate the nutritional quality of meals by scheduling tours for the dinner hour. Inquire about activities for seniors, such as yoga, bingo, and outdoor walks. These activities help keep seniors entertained, protect their mental health, and encourage them to socialize. A schedule of structured activities also demonstrates that the facility cares about the happiness of its residents.
Even when you help your parent get into a nursing home, you should still keep apprised of their condition. You’ll want to ensure your parent is receiving treatment for any new conditions that arise. You’ll also want to ensure your parent is treated well by the staff, so you can take action if you suspect neglect or abuse. This will help you protect your parent in their senior years.