How To Take Care Of Your Aging Parents

As our seniors' age, their needs change, and they need just that little extra care to ensure their well-being. There are many aspects of their lives and well-being where they would require help yet, wouldn’t like to accept directly allowing anyone else to take over their affairs. 

To handle the crucial yet delicate nature of caring for our aging parents, we brought in the experts to advise us;

Emily Cooper is Founder, and General Director, Oliver Wicks; a luxury Italian menswear brand. Emily takes charge of her aging parents’ care, and according to her...

Getting old is something beyond our control, which is why we should ensure that we are equipped with the right knowledge and practices to give our parents the best senior care possible.

One of the most important things to do is to make sure that your aging parents are able to have their complete annual physical examination. As they say, prevention is always better than cure. It is also important to make sure that the house they are living in has been fool-proofed to avoid falls or other accidents from happening. 

Apart from this, it is also important to regularly check in on our aging parents and spend precious bonding moments with them. We may not know what tomorrow brings, so it is vital to make them feel loved and appreciated. When the time comes that they cannot take care of themselves anymore, it is also best to have options for retirement homes that they can move to, if needed. It is always best to be prepared and one step ahead. 

Mo Mulla is a Parenting Expert and Founder of Parental Questions. According to Mo...

  • Keep a list of all medications and prescriptions to ensure they don't get mixed up.
  • Various apps can help you track or remind you when medication was taken or when to take it next.
  • Keep them informed of what is going on in your life. People who feel like they have a purpose tend to live longer and be happier.
  • Involve them in activities they enjoy - whether it's gardening, playing games together, watching their favorite TV show with them, etcetera.

Olivia Oh is the Communications Coordinator for Aged Care Provider; amcservices.org.au. According to Olivia…,

  • Look at home modifications like ramps and bathroom adjustments. Modifications assist with restorative practices for seniors and look forward to making a meaningful and practical contribution.
  • The fear of falling becomes more common as we age. Thousands of seniors break a bone every year. Older adults may avoid activities such as walking, shopping, or social events. Get a mobility aid if the parent is unsteady when walking. Appropriate sticks and walkers can prevent falls, especially in areas you do not know well or with unevenness. Get your parents to wear non-skid, rubber-soled, low-heeled shoes or lace-up shoes with non-skid soles. Do not wear socks while walking on stairs and floors or wear shoes and slippers with smooth soles.
  • Some seniors, especially from multicultural backgrounds, are socially isolated. AMCS has Volunteer Visiting Programs that match seniors with volunteers with shared cultural backgrounds, hobbies, and interests. The volunteers visit or do activities with the seniors to reduce the risk of loneliness.

Australian Multicultural Community Services (AMCS) support seniors to live safely at home through personal care (showering, grooming), transport to medical appointments, and domestic assistance (cleaning, cooking).

 Jod Kapilakan is the CEO of AbundanceNoLimits and a certified coach in wellness and energy healing. According to Jod...

Do not back away from helping your parents with new technology; it is a form of entertainment and will keep them occupied in times of boredom. Be patient with them while teaching them anything and frequently have meetings with them, take them out on dates, and don't sweat on small matters.

Cameron Huddleston is a family finance expert with Carefull, the first service built to organize and protect aging loved ones' finances. Huddleston was a financial caregiver for 12 years for her mom, who had Alzheimer's disease. She would like to focus on the importance of talking to your aging loved ones about finances;

How can adult children help their parents manage their finances without being overbearing? One of the best ways for adult children to get involved with their parents' finances is to make it a win-win situation. Offer to take a financial task they don't like doing off their plates.

For example, you could offer to help set up automatic bill payments for your parents. Focus on how this will save them time going forward and eliminate worries about late payments. In the process, you'll get information about what sort of bills they need to pay and their bank account details. 

Even if your parents have been diagnosed with dementia or any sort of cognitive decline, you still shouldn't force your way in and start managing their finances for them. Pay attention to the areas where their memory loss might be causing problems and ask whether you can provide help with those tasks. Don't make a big deal out of it. Don't point out that they are struggling. Simply offer a helping hand. ⁠⠀

It's also important to talk to parents about being named their power of attorney. If they get to the point that they are no longer competent enough to manage their finances on their own, you will need to be their power of attorney to have the legal right to make financial transactions and decisions for them. 

However, the power of attorney document must be drafted and signed while they still are mentally competent. Otherwise, if they are no longer of sound mind and haven't named you their power of attorney, you'll have to go through a potentially lengthy and expensive court process to be named their conservator.

What is the best way to start an open conversation about finances with one's elderly parents? Ideally, you should be talking to your parents about their finances while they are still relatively young and healthy. That way, you will have the information you need, and essential legal documents will be in place if an emergency arises and you have to step in and help them with financial matters. 

There are a variety of ways to start these conversations naturally. If you are young, you could ask your parents for advice about your financial situation. For example, if you just got married, you could ask Mom and Dad whether you should have a will and life insurance now. Their responses will give you clues about what sort of financial planning they've done. Then keep the conversation going by asking more questions. 

If you recently met with an attorney to draft estate planning documents such as a will and power of attorney, you could tell your parents about this and let them know where those documents are so they can find them in case of an emergency. Then you could say, ‘By the way, do you have a will, estate planning documents or other information I should know in case of an emergency?’

You could ask about what-if scenarios. What if something were to happen and you were in the hospital, and I needed to make sure your bills get paid? How would I do that? 

You could share a story about someone you know who had to get involved with their parents' care and finances and let your parents know that you want to get some information about their finances so you'll be prepared if your family ends up in a similar situation.

Steven Z Zeldes is the CEO of AvaCare Medical, a leading online medical supply and equipment company. According to Steven...

There are so many aspects that go into caring for a loved one, but one that we know about is medical supplies and equipment. So many times, an elderly parent is in need of medical supplies, the most popular being incontinence items. Knowing the different options, whether it be the absorbency level, the thickness, the different brands, etc., is the difference between your parents being comfortable and healthy! Another tremendous aspect is your elderly parents feeling dignified and having their self-esteem intact while being in this very uncomfortable situation. There are so many different incontinence items that may or may not work for different situations, and having the right help from the right supplier will greatly enhance their quality of life.

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Irene Lefever is a senior advisor whose role is to make sure that senior citizens’ physical, mental, psychological, and emotional needs are catered to. Lefever got her degree in Multimedia Arts at the University of California, Riverside.
After years of living under the care of your parents and other family members, the time will arrive for you to reciprocate. At Senior Strong, you can show your loved ones just how much you value them.
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