A Full-Guide to Caring for Elderly Parents

“The number of adults taking care of aging parents has tripled in the past 15 years, and a full 25% of grown children are helping their parents by providing either personal care or financial assistance”  – Glenn D. Braunstein, M.D., The Huffington Post

Adult care giving is a paradoxical thing. As family members age, adult senior children are often put in the position of caring for an elderly parent. Many times, the parent moves into the adult child’s home, or into a senior group home or facility. Between helping manage medication, assisting with doctors’ visits, and arranging or providing transportation, caregiving is in itself a full-time job.

So, how do you successfully ease into your new role and effectively care for your aging parent?

How to Take Care of Your Elderly Parents?

Generally, someone over the age of 65 might be considered an older person who might need committed care depending on his/her health condition. However, it is not easy to apply a strict definition because people can biologically age at different rates. Instead of simply age, ‘frailty’ has a bigger impact on their likelihood to require care and support.

Eldercare, often referred to as senior care, is specialized care that is designed to meet the needs and requirements of senior citizens at various stages. As such, elder care is a rather broad term, as it encompasses everything from assisted living and nursing care to adult day care, home care, and even hospice care. Although aging in itself is not a reason to consider elder care, it is usually the various diseases and physical limitations that accompany old age that prompt a discussion about eldercare.

If you’re newly responsible for finding elderly care for a family member or friend, it can be difficult to know where to start. This actionable starter guide aims to provide you with an overview of elderly parent’s care, from what’s available to the tips.

Challenges of Taking Care of the Elderly

On average, a family caregiver will spend over 24 hours each week providing care to a loved one, although many report spending over 40 hours per week on care giving duties. Family care giving usually involves tasks above and beyond assisting with activities of daily living, like bathing, dressing and eating, but also medical or nursing tasks that are typically performed by a nurse.

While family care giving can be a genuinely rewarding experience, the caregivers often face common challenges that leave them overwhelmed, anxious, and drained by their duties. Some of these challenges a family caregiver faces are:

1. Emotional and Physical Stress
Caring for chronic conditions likePartial paralysis or Alzheimer’s disease seems to cause the most emotional stress. The physical demands of caregiving can also take a toll, when the duties include lifting and helping with mobility.

2. Managing a Healthy Lifestyle
Social isolation can negatively impact both physical and mental health. Did you know that feelings of loneliness and disconnection from peers are associated with a wide range of health problems, including; Depression, Infection, Dementia, and Elevated Blood Pressure? Care-givers often find it challenging to develop strategies for social inclusion.

3. Financial Stress
Because care giving is a demanding activity, care takers can start to feel some financial strain, especially when caregiving takes a toll on finances. The medical bills, equipments, and the constant doctor visits certainly adds more to your financial strain.

4. Lack of Sleep
Sleep deprivation can be a big issue for a family caregiver, as often the family member must mould his/her sleep cycle while looking after the elderly.Lack of sleep can take a huge toll on a caregiver who is already feeling the strain of being burned from both ends.

5. Understanding Common Mental Issues
There are implications of aging but what about the mental health? Depression is by far the most common condition faced by many elderly adults. Care givers face the challenge of recognizing and addressing mental health issues like these. They need information on causes, treatments, prevention, and symptoms—and strategies for supporting their parents.

Tips for Taking Care of the Elderly

As roles change and adult children become caregivers for their parents, it is sometimes hard to determine how to take care of aging parents. It is important to emphasize that “role reversal” does not imply control over elderly parents; moreover, it merely suggests that adult children should act as a guide.

But the in-home care of an ill or frail parent could happen at any stage in your life — this is why it’s so important to know how to handle the responsibility. Here are some pieces of advice or tips for caregivers of elderly parents to help you adjust:

1. Keep An Eye on ‘Well-Being’
Caring for elderly parents at home isn’t limited to weekly or daily phone call. Seniors who are struggling with Dementia or Alzheimer’s need extra or rather full attention. It requires physical surveillance to assess how well seniors living independently are doing.

Improving your communication with them will help make caregiving less stressful and will likely improve the quality of your relationship with your parent. You can best meet these challenges by using creativity, flexibility, patience, and compassion.

2. Be Realistic
Once you have a clear idea of what your parent’s needs are, you need to assess how much of it you can handle on your own. If you know there are tasks that are out of your capacity, it’s important to logically plan and hire an additional help. There will be times you aren’t able to do what a parent needs, such as preparing meals, extra help around the house, errands, and visit to a doctor.

Working with a home care agency ahead of time gives you the ability to have respite care ready in the wings when you need it. If you choose to hire a care giver at home, you are less likely to sacrifice your own health, your relationships, your social life, and your responsibilities.

3. Keep Your Parent Active
If you aren’t able to help your parent get to the social, religious, recreational, etc. activities/events they used to enjoy, enlist the help of others in related organizations to lend a hand. There are a few organizations that happily provide transportation to/from meetings; other church/temple/synagogue members can facilitate attendance at those events, and so on.

If mobility is an issue, you can still keep their mind active and spirits lifted. Encourage parents to listen to audiobooks, or encourage them to take up on the least physically challenging activity. It can make a world of difference in health, attitude and quality of life.

4. Make Home Surroundings Safe
A slip/fall/injury combo is the detriment of seniors who live at home. While some structural modifications may be necessary, the majority of steps required to make a senior’s home safe and accessible require minimal efforts and a few sets of helpful hands.

Some of the must-have adaptations to consider include grab bars near the toilet and in the showers/tubs to help with stability, sitting and standing. Adding railings on all stairways by having them on both sides is preferred. Wheelchair, portable hospital bed, or any other medical devices and equipments must be planned for use.

5. Schedule In-Home Consultations With Nursing Agencies
In-home consultations/assessments can provide a wealth of information about long-term care planning, finances, helpful caregiver tips, etc. Plus, afterward, you’ll have a great idea of which agency feels the best for your parent when/if the time comes you require outside help.

Hiring help can relieve you of some of the tasks you are responsible for, freeing you to have some time for yourself. When you find the right person for your caregiving needs, they are worth their weight in gold.

6. Helping with (ADLs) and (IADLs)
These terms stand for Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs). They represent key life tasks that people need to manage, in order to live at home and be fully independent. The “Basic Activities of Daily Living” (BADLs) include; walking, feeding, dressing and grooming, toileting, bathing, and helping with transferring positions.

Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs) require more complex thinking skills, including organizational skills. They include: managing finances, managing transportation, running errands, helping and preparing meals, house cleaning, home maintenance and medications.

7. Explore Care Options
Even after looking at the steps above, caring for your elderly parent can be an overwhelming responsibility. Fortunately, there are many aging care options and helpful resources you can rely on.

  • Palliative care at home – A dedicated team of highly qualified doctors and nurses will ensure that specialized care is given at all times.
  • Assisted living communities – If your parent isn’t able to live on their own or needs 24/7 care, assisted living and other senior housing options might be the right choice.
  • Geriatricians (Geriatric doctors) – They specialize in caring for seniors and have more experience treating people with multiple chronic health conditions, Dementia, and other conditions that primarily affect older adults.
  • Area Agency on Aging – It’s a great starting point because they connect you with helpful local resources and government programs.

8. Understand The Financial Obligations
At first, caring for a parent can seem financially daunting. However, there are multiple resources available, and many people learn that caring for aging parents is possible withoutcashing out the savings account. Understand how much will Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance cover.

9. Create a Plan of Action
Draw up a plan in the event of unforeseen circumstances. For these reasons, you must keep accurate and up-to-date records, not only for your parent but also for yourself. Is there someone who could immediately step in until you can notify a secondary caregiver? Who will take over the long-term care of your parent? Will you need to look into assisted living or a nursing home now, rather than later?

With the help of professional services, apps and gadgets, it is now possible to help your parents lead a comfortable and healthy life even when you’re not residing in the same town.

10. Find A Reliable Care Giving Service Near You
Taking care of an elderly parent in your home is not always an easy task. Whether you have a busy lifestyle and active family, or more time to offer your parents, chances are you’ll need help and resources along the way.

Look for services that range from personal care, full in-home care, companionship services, care management services, and more. The care giving agency must be devoted to providing a reliable support network you can count on.

Bonus Tip! Take Care of Elderly Parents at Home with Aims Healthcare, Dubai

Something to remember is that caring for elderly parents shouldn’t be a burden or responsibility to bear alone. Elderly care at home support is available by Aims Healthcare in Dubai. Our resources are DHA-certified home nursing dubai professionals to help you in caring for elderly parents. There are many choices and options available to allow them to age well and happily.

  • Health Management For Seniors At Home
  • Physiotherapy Session For Seniors At Home
  • Companionship For Seniors At Home

Why Consider Elderly Care at Home Service?

How older people are cared for is the barometer of any civilized society so, it is something we need to get right.

As more elderly adults are choosing to live independently, family members must make important choices about their daily care. In the majority of these situations, the primary caretakers of the elderly have limited time and ability to provide daily care. Many turn to outside home care providers for help.

In such cases, a DHA-certified nurse and caregiver can suitably provide a completely personalized patient-centered experience. Services like live-in service are designed to better aid in day-to-day activities such as assistance in grooming, mobility, food preparation, health management and administering medicinal requirements.

Nurse Your Elderly Parents At Home

Of greatest concern in terms of health care needs are the growing numbers of people who reach advanced old age. This growing older population requires health care services to address chronic rather than acute care needs. Thus, aging parents who are recovering from an injury or hospitalization, or have a long-term condition can benefit from nursing care. Nursing at home can guarantee three things to your ailing parent, (1) better health, (2) wellbeing and (3) companionship.

Need Elderly Care Service at Home in Dubai?

Aims Healthcare, Dubai has registered nurses/care givers for nursing care who can help promote a sense of security, safety and care. Our nurses and caregivers are highly trained in providing specialized services to those in need of sensitive treatments and extend the care by assisting, imparting training and educating the whole family.

Our Nursing Care Services Include:

  • Care, assistance and nursing 24 hours a day
  • Medication management including self administration
  • Physical assistance and support around all the activities of daily living
  • Designated DHA-certified nurse for individual patient

So, if you’re looking to hire a nurse to aid and support your ailing and elderly parents, give Aims Healthcare a call at +971 505 136 505 or fill up the form below. Our executive will reach out to you to discuss your requirements shortly.

Aims Healthcare

Aims Healthcare intertwines superior medical practices with accessibility of highly qualified medical professionals to yield exceptional patient care and clinical outcomes. We take medical care one step further by providing first-rate home healthcare and doctor-on-call services at your doorstep. We are available any time of day for you and every member of your family.