As your parents get older there might come a time when it is your turn to care for them. While it can be distressing watching your parents decline, there are ways you can help to make their senior years safer and happier.
You can support your aging parents by helping them maintain their independence. With the following tips, your mom or dad will be looked after throughout their retirement:
Think About Downsizing
If one of your parents is alone or the children have moved out, it might be time to downsize. A smaller property or residence in a retirement village can be easier to manage. It will be a big change, but a low maintenance yard and secure property can be less overwhelming for seniors.
There are benefits to moving into a community with others who are at a similar stage of life. Your parent will be able to make friends and participate in group activities. This can help with loneliness and help them to feel connected.
Assess Their Health Insurance
If your parents are receiving Social Security and are over the age of 65, they will probably be covered by Original Medicare. This government-sponsored insurance reduces the costs associated with a range of essential health services, hospital visits, treatments, and prevention. As your parents get older they may need more comprehensive coverage, and you should do your research to ensure they have access to adequate care.
Original Medicare can be enhanced with a Medicare Advantage plan from a private, Medicare-approved insurer. This will cover all the basics as well as key optional extras. There are generally lower copays, and they will be covered for other important services such as dental and optometry. Medicare Part D plans reduce the cost of prescription drugs, which is not included automatically in traditional Medicare. It can be added to Original Medicare or included in a Medicare Advantage plan.
Keep Family Close
Family and friends will play an important role in the health and happiness of your elderly parent. Social connections are good for their mental health, and they will probably look forward to visitors. Checking in regularly will also ensure you are up to date with any issues they might have.
Being present will mean you can make sure they are receiving the appropriate care and that they are eating properly. For those who live further away, your mom or dad might benefit from video chat. It can take time to get the hang of it, but it is the next best thing to being physically there.
Regardless of whether they are still in their own home or a retirement village, your parent’s abode may need some modifications. Install a medical alarm that they can press in case of a fall, and ask a trusted neighbor to keep an eye out for any unusual activity.
Mobility issues are a common complaint from seniors, and you can add a few elements to their home that will help. These additions could include an accessible toilet, grab rails, ramps, and a step-free shower. Your mom or dad may also need regular visits from an in-home nurse, or a meal delivery service.
Helping Mom and Dad
The best way to help your mom and dad during their senior years is to make sure they are well looked after and have everything they need.
Keep their living environment safe, make sure they have the right healthcare, and check on them regularly. Downsizing can be stressful but for many seniors it can be a relief and a great way to enjoy their golden years.