Aging is a factor of life that you can never assume. Aging affects families, especially adult children whose parents are seniors. Resistance is a common issue in elderly parents, and it can be challenging for adult children. Usually, adult children might not understand how aging affects them or their parents. You might not feel any dramatic changes when your elderly parents are still in perfect health and living independently. However, when parents start experiencing the advanced signs or effects of aging, their children’s burden shifts. It can be difficult to watch your parents struggle with daily activities as you wonder how to assist them.
An overall decline in mental and physical vitality often causes visible and drastic changes to your parent’s appearance and health. Therefore, children need to be aware of the effects of aging on their parents and the issues that might come up to involve themselves in their lives. Every child wishes that their parents can age decently and enjoy their last years. That is why it is paramount to consider the physical and emotional well-being of your elderly parents. Here are some of the issues you need to know about and address when taking care of your aging parents.
- Hostility, Anger, and Outbursts
One of the issues you might have to address in an aging parent is outbursts and anger. Age can intensify some traits in unpleasant ways. For instance, an aging parent might frequently become enraged or have outbursts. You might not be able to please an aging parent who has anger and hostility issues. You can address this issue by identifying the root cause of hostility and anger. For instance, these issues are common in older adults living with chronic pain, dementia. Don’t take the behavior personally, and try focusing on the positives. You can also try getting a professional to talk to your aging parent and help address the anger issue.
- Activities of Daily Living
You need to ensure that you meet an elderly parent’s daily requirements, which are vital in the emotional and physical well-being. Some of the necessary daily living activities that you must address include dressing, bathing, and self-feeding. Some elderly parents face mobility issues, and you must move them around as they perform their daily activities like getting in and out of bed. You also need to take care of their hygiene issues, such as shaving, brushing, and other grooming activities. You can find help if you are unable to address these issues.
- Safety Issues
Safety issues often arise in elderly parents because some might not be able to look after themselves. Also, some elderly parents have chronic medical conditions or have an issue with mobility. In this case, you need to address the safety issue by providing solutions. For instance, renovating your bathroom and staircase to reduce risks of accidents and injuries. It would be wise to get a driver to drive an elderly parent around to address driving difficulties.
- Financial and Legal Issues
Some older parents are unable to manage the most legal and financial aspects. Also, they are prone to financial exploitation. That is why you need to help with legal and financial issues by planning and completing the necessary paperwork for legal issues. You can create a conservatorship to solve the financial issues. A conservatorship is inevitable when an older adult is unable to pay monthly bills or write checks.
People who have suffered a coma, stroke, brain injury, Alzheimer’s disease, or are disabled or mentally challenged require a conservatorship. The court appoints a conservator to handle an older adult’s finances and is more powerful than a guardian. People who can initiate the conservatorship process include a spouse, relative, interested local or state agencies, domestic partner, or friend. Conservators have to update the court with annual financial reports and manage your loved one’s medical challenges and finances. Therefore, take time to understand your legal responsibilities before moving on with the conservatorship process.
- Housing Issues
The housing situation of an elderly parent can affect safety concerns and quality of life. Housing issues can also affect your ability to offer assistance to an aging parent. You can address a housing issue by considering how it affects the elderly parent and how moving into a more supportive environment like with a family member can help. You might also address the housing issue by considering other options like assisted living facilities. Whichever option you choose to address the housing issue, make sure that you consider your loved one and prioritize their comfort and well-being.
- Relationship Issues
You are likely to face relationship challenges and emotional difficulties as you assist an older parent. Sometimes you might treat your elderly parents in ways that threaten their dignity, which strains the relationship. The good news is that you can address family dynamics or relationship issues by practicing better communication skills.
- Quality of Life
Besides helping an elderly parent with basic needs and daily activities, you need to help them thrive. That means you have to address issues like their purpose, social connectedness, dignity, and autonomy. Learn about the things that matter to your aging parent and what they consider less important. That way, you can help your aging parents to thrive in life and improve their quality of life even as they age.
You can address most of the issues highlighted above through planning. It reduces expenses, hassle, and stress linked to taking care of an aging parent. Now that you know the issues to expect when taking care of an elderly loved one and how to address them. Don’t stress out or worry because you ought to be mentally stable to look after your elderly parents, stay informed, and consider your seniors’ happiness and comfort. Self-care is necessary for you to balance your busy life and take care of your parents without jeopardizing your health and ability to connect with your older parent. Consider joining a support group, setting boundaries, allocating time for personal needs, and asking for help to manage strain and have time with your parent.