Helping A Loved One Keep Their Independence In Old Age
What is the most important relationship in your life? The answer that just popped into your head might have been your husband, your girlfriend or the relationship you have with your kids. But, for the longest time it will have been your parents. They raised you, treated you right and kept you safe. They tried to give you the best opportunities for you in life and kept the right doors open. They were the ones you could rely on and count on. But as you get older, they get less able to count on themselves. It’s difficult to watch as they lose their independence. But it is nothing compared to how difficult it is experiencing it. You need to do everything you can to help your parents as they start to enter old age.
Keep Them Sociable
It’s important that you don’t allow your parent, particularly a widowed parent to drop out of society. You have to encourage them to keep their contacts active and continue to engage in society. Yes, some services such as home shopping delivery are useful, but you don’t want it to get to the point where they are doing nothing for themselves. Try to get them joining clubs that they would be interested in where they can meet people their own age and interact. Remember, isolation has been linked to the early stages of dementia.
Deciding Whether They Can Live By Themselves
In a perfect world, this would be their choice but unfortunately you might have to step in with this decision. Ultimately many people will fight tooth and nail for every piece of independence they already have. That’s why you will find people still driving who no longer have the ability to stay safe on the road. We know you don’t want your parents having to move in with you, but here is the secret. They don’t want that either. The problem is that leaves you with the difficult choice of deciding whether or not they need to go into care. But, it may be that they only need help with certain aspects of their life. If that’s the case, you should look into http://www.careconnect.org.au/Our-services/services-for-individuals/Specialist-Services/Aged-Care. They offer flexible care so you and your loved one can choose the level that they need.
Making Changes To Their Home
Of course, your parents might be able to live quite independently without any intervention at all. You might just need to modify their home and again, expect fights around every corner. People get set in their ways, and they don’t like change. But you should consider whether or not they should move from a two floored home into a bungalow. This is a lot safe for aging parents as it limits the risks of trips and slips. Or, you might just want to add some extra safety features like a gate at the top of the stairs. Anything that can make their home safe while letting them keep their independence is worth looking into.
We hope you find this advice helpful. By taking it on board, you can help your parents keep their independence for as long as possible.