7 Ways to Help Your Elderly Parents

When your parents get older, they’re going to start needing help. Depending on their health, they may become totally unable to care for themselves.

Watching your parents suffer is awful. Yet it’s very difficult to know what to do. Your entire life, your parents act as your guides. When your roles suddenly become reversed, it’s dizzying.

Keep reading to find out what you can do.

1. Start Cooking

Everyone needs to eat. However, preparing your own meals is time-consuming and difficult if you’re sick or have trouble moving.

Bring dinner to your parents' house. If you have time, make it a daily ritual. If you don’t, try batch cooking. You can bring over enough food to last a few days. It’s okay if you’re not an experienced chef. There are tons of meal plan ideas online.

A trip to the grocery store may be appreciated as well.

2. Assess Your Ability

Before you promise anything, figure out how much help you can actually give. Caregiver burnout is a real problem.

● Where do you live? Can you easily travel for visits?
● Are you healthy?
● What’s the state of your relationship?
● Are you willing to live with them?

These are the types of questions you need to answer before you make a game plan. It’s okay if you can’t handle all of their needs. You’re not expected to be a miracle worker.

3. Do Chores

For the same reason that cooking for your parents is a good idea, you can help them with chores around their home. Yard tasks often become very difficult as people age. Mowing your parents' lawn for them is a simple way to make them feel cared for.

Anything that you can do to help will be appreciated. If you’re in a good financial spot, think about hiring a part-time maid.

4. Figure Out the Finances

Caring for your elderly parents will cost money. You might be able to trim the costs, but you’ll have to figure out what they are first. Start thinking about a budget as soon as you sense that your parents will need help.

One of the biggest expenses will be their medical care. If they need a full-time nurse, for example, you may have no choice but to move them into a facility.

Their overall living costs need to be considered as well. If you have the room, you can allow your parents to move in with you to save space.

Once you have a plan in mind, you can figure out exactly how much financial help they’re going to need from you, if any.

5. Do Your Due Diligence

If you have to find a nursing home or assisted living facility, do your due diligence and make sure that it’s a worthy spot. There are a lot of facilities with very questionable histories.

If an accident like a nursing home fall occurs, contact a lawyer. Elder abuse is a serious problem. So is neglect.

Before your parents move in, make sure you take a tour of their future home. Speak with current residents if you get a chance.

6. Get Support

Corral your resources. Are there any other family members who can help you out? If your parents are entirely dependent on you, you’re going to need extra support. Friends, family, work colleagues.

You don’t have to tell your story. In fact, you might find relief hanging out with someone who doesn’t know your troubles. The calmer and happier that you feel, the more useful you’ll be with your parents.

If you neglect your own health, you can fall ill. You’ll have the stress of dealing with your illness on top of everything else.

7. Connect

Connect with your parents. What do they want for their own lives? All of your actions are motivated by love. However, the situation is still very difficult.

If your parents are suffering from dementia, they may be highly resistant to receiving care. They may not even realize that they’re sick.

You need to stay strong. Don’t give in to their attempts to convince that you everything is fine. Try to connect with them as much as possible. When you feel yourself becoming too emotional, step outside.

Your parents give you life. As you get older, their role changes until it’s completely reversed. It’s only natural to want to care for them.

You’re just one person. You shouldn’t be too hard on yourself if you can’t do everything that you wish.