How To Care For Your Elder Parents
By: Ursula Nwobu
Elder Law Associates Newsletter dated April 16, 2018
As I grow older, I begin to better acknowledge and deeply appreciate the cycle of life. I’m fully aware that one moment you’re playing in a swing with your clique of 4 and the next moment your staring at an old picture of that 4 between wrinkled hands and sitting alone in an old people’s home. The journey between both worlds is laced with dreams, expectations, and many in-betweens. No wonder deep respect and care is paid to the veterans.
I have a grandma who holds worlds of wisdom in her eyes. She suffers from ulcer but is still a vibrant and driven woman at 82. Though my culture admonishes us to care for our elders, I made a choice to care for her whenever I was around. Many people would argue that it’s best to check them into a facility; others would prefer caring for them at home. Whichever the case, the most important thing is that they receive as much care and attention as they can get. After all, we all hope to grow old and be treated nicely too. Here are a few tips that help me in taking care of my grandma.
- Prepare the home- In case you choose to take care of your elder parent or loved one in your home, you’ll need to make a few adjustments. Ensure his/her room is on the ground floor and won’t have any need to climb stairs. We always make sure grandma has all she needs in her flat downstairs. Remove booby straps and if you can, employ an assistant to look in whenever you’re away. Notably, most elderly people like to live out their later years without being a bother to others. However, if an assisted living facility is a better choice for you, be sure to check that they meet all laid out standards. These facilities are meant to serve as comfortable alternatives, not cause more troubles.
- Always Visit- Though elderly people are quick to say they can take care of themselves; it always warms their heart to see you check in on them from time to time. It gives them the impression that they are still deeply valued and appreciated. You also get firsthand knowledge on their mental and physical wellbeing. Whether they’re in a home for elders or in a private home, make time out to pay them a visit.
- Be friends with the pharmacist- Medications are very common among elderly people. However, most of them could have really poor medication management. Be their eyes and ears and get exact information from the pharmacists. Help them manage their medications until you’re comfortable they can take it up themselves.
- Keep them connected- Especially when they have lost their other halves, life becomes increasingly lonely. The best way to move on is to move on to someone or people who make them feel the need to live again. Keep them socially connected with others around. Encourage them to share their wealth of experience with younger people as well.
Taking care of the elder ones in our midst doesn’t have to be a chore. It could be another opportunity to share love and gain wisdom.