5 Things You Need to Do When Living With Elderly Parents
One of the hardest things in life is accepting that your parents are growing older, too. When they reach that age where they need constant assistance to get on with their daily lives, you can look after them a lot better if they live with you in your house. Being your elderly parents’ primary caregiver is not an easy task. However, most American seniors prefer to live out the rest of their lives in their own homes rather than in a retirement home. Additionally, it’s significantly cheaper compared to having your elderly parents stay in a senior care community. If you plan on living with your elderly parents, here are the top tips to help you adjust.
Figure out if you need extra help
Having elderly parents in the same household can be a handful. As much as you want to be responsible for their overall well-being, you can’t do it all — especially if you have a job.
Because of that, you might have to ask for additional help. For one, you can hire a personal caregiver to help you around the house and assist your parents while you’re out doing your job during the day. Another way to ask for help is by looking for a volunteer senior companion who can take your parents out on excursions as well as help them have a healthy social life. Lastly, you can ask close family members and friends to help you out with errands and tasks if you feel like your plate is already full.
Don’t be afraid to seek out financial support
Having more people in the house requires you to adjust your budget to accommodate everybody’s needs. So, it’s best to ask the people you live with some financial questions to help you work out your budget. Marcus lists several financial questions you need to ask yourselves when sorting out your budget: Will your parents contribute to costs like food and utilities? Who will pay for your parents’ medical expenses? Will your siblings contribute money, too? All of this information needs to be gathered in order to gauge what your monthly expenses will be and to so you can divide
the financial responsibilities between your family members. And although money is often a touchy subject, it’s also important to ask your parents about their retirement income and expenses, so you understand how this might impact you.
Create a safe environment for them
Since your elderly parents might need special care, it’s important to assess what kind of things you need to ensure their safety at home. For one, your parents need easy access to a bathroom, common area, and kitchen, so be sure to place them in a room near these particular areas. Furthermore, you might have to install fixtures and devices to help make living at home easier for your parents if they have a disability. Examples include wheelchair slopes, voice-assisted smart home devices like Alexa, and a home monitoring program such as Angee. This can help alleviate any anxiety you might experience when leaving your elderly parents alone at home.
Give them access to healthy and easy meals
Our nutritional needs change as we grow older — our immune system becomes weaker, so we need to consume the proper amount of energy, nutrients, and vitamins to help fight off diseases. So it’s important to give your elderly parents easy access to healthy and easy-to-cook meals at home. Just buying fresh ingredients is sometimes not enough, especially if your parents have mobility issues like Parkinson’s disease. One way to make sure that your parents won’t go hungry at home is by meal prepping in advance. Healthline highlights how meal prepping is the best choice for seniors who need to focus on their nutrition, as it allows you to see what exactly goes in what you or your parents eat.
Carve out your own space
Lastly, you have to remember how important it is to take care of yourself while living with your elderly parents. With your elderly parents at home, it can be hard to create your own space and find the time for any self-care. So, be sure to actively pursue your own well-being by setting hard limits like having a few uninterrupted hours during the day or by having an area in your house where you can’t be bothered or distracted.