Aid Your Aging Parents
If you’re caring for aging parents, there’s a good chance one or both of them has a chronic condition. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 85 percent of older adults in the U.S. have at least one. And 60 percent have two or more.
Whether they have been diagnosed with diabetes, high blood pressure, or another condition, if they are unable to manage their ailments properly themselves, their quality of life can be diminished. They may also have a hard time living independently.
Be A Participant in Your Parents’ Health Care
To assist your parents in managing their conditions, make an effort to learn more about their specific health concerns. Take advantage of online resources you can trust, such as government agencies, nonprofit organizations, or university medical center websites.
Here are some other practical steps you can take to aid in your parents’ well-being:
Teach them to take medications correctly. First, review the system they use to track their medication intake. If it doesn’t appear to be working—they miss doses or forget to take their meds—help them find a better way. For example, encourage them to try using a timed medication dispenser.
Accompany them to doctor visits. By hearing directions from the doctor yourself, you can help ensure your parents follow the proper treatment. Take notes on what is discussed and ask questions if anything is unclear.
Manage Your Stress
Living with a chronic condition is stressful—for both you and your parents. Remember to take time for yourself. Being a caregiver can be highly stressful. If not managed properly, it can cause mental and physical illness, including anxiety, depression, and a compromised immune system. Reduce the caregiver burden by asking for help from family and friends. Alternatively, look for caregiving services available in your community.
For information regarding caregiving services, visit Eldercare Locator at www.eldercare.gov.