Moving in with elderly parents is an excellent experience. However, you should be able to recognize and approach your responsibilities in the right way. Here are some tips for caring for elderly parents.
Make Time for Your Parents as Much as You Can
Whether your parents are living in your house or in a nursing home, you need to be available to them as much as you can.
Research showed that one in two senior adults feel like they are lonely most of the time.
You mean a lot to your parents. They feel the happiest when you are laughing with them. So, visit them regularly- even if you can’t allocate a lot of your time, a phone call a day will take you a long way.
Schedule Regular Doctor Visits
Let us visit a study conducted in Mukim Sepang, Sepang, Selangor in Malaysia in 2004. Out of 223 elderly people, 134 (about 60%) were diagnosed with chronic illnesses. The diseases included hypertension, diabetes mellitus, ischaemic heart disease, bronchial asthma or gout.
Of course, the research was based on a small number of people. However, it still gave us the idea about how the elder population is more prone to diseases and they need proper care,
Never miss a visit to the medical facility especially if your elders have health problems. Well, even if they don’t have any illnesses, you must take your parents for regular health screening tests. Doing this will not only maintain their well-being but also provide them the confidence to live. Also, as per our experience, elders who visit health care centers more often tend to follow a healthy style of living.
As we are talking about health facilities, assure that you don’t forget to give them their medicine.
Provide Emotional Support
According to the WHO, depression affects at least 7% of the elderly population in the world. At the same time, 66.6% of the disabilities in the Elderly has mental disorders to blame.
Anxiety is very much prevalent in older adults. It is especially because they focus on how their age is increasing and they are not as strong as they used to be. If left unaddressed, it can invite serious social and health complications like anger, fatigue, weight loss, etc.
Thus, caring for elderly parents’ stress is vital. Never give out the vibe that you are helping your folks because they are weak. Help them realize that they are living their own lives and you are only providing them some support. Motivate, praise, and thank them for the things that they have done for you. Actually, they are the ones who turned you into a respectful individual, so it is just their good work paying off when you are looking after them.
Take them Out for Recreational Activities
You have seen elders locking themselves in their room believing that they should be resting all the time. The problem with it is that their lives become less interesting and they get more stressed.
Just because seniors are aging doesn’t mean they can’t have fun. The more you help them understand it; the more energetic they will become. Take the elderly out on parks to play games and to the cinema to watch a movie or two. Restaurant visits and ice-creams now and then will make them embrace their retired life more.
Also, if your elders are indoors most of the time, here is a tip for caring for elderly parents at home. Why not introduce them to video games?
Believe it or not- studies have shown that playing video games helps in the cognitive ability in elders. Games like Neuroracer, World of Warcraft, Happy Neuron and War thunder lets them exercise their mind in a fun way, and at the same time, keeps them away from stress.
Taking part in different activities lets elders enjoy their lives more and thus, enhances their mental well-being. At the same time, activities like yoga and outdoor sports can help them become physically strong. All in all, recreations every now and then makes elders healthier, and it becomes easier for you to deal with them.
Teach Them How to Use Phones
Mobile phones are simple to understand technology for us, but they might confuse the elderly population. You should show your parents how easy it is to press the buttons or touch the screen to make a phone call. This is vital because sometimes emergency situations might occur when you are not with them. Knowing that they will call will help you feel secure.
A study in the USA showed that among only 63% of 70 to 74 years old owned phones. Adding on to that, only 58% of the population over 80 had phones. Remember, this was research conducted in the USA. It is a general idea that the number is very low in Malaysia. The indicators are not good because older people are the ones who need mobile phones the most.
Keep Things on Reach
Whether it be the remote control or food ingredients, keep everything on their reach. Anything that the elderly in your house might want during the day should not be placed high on the cupboard. The same goes for rooms. Make sure that you have allocated the area so that they need to move very little. For example, if you only have one bathroom in your house, give elders the nearest room to the bathroom.
Manage their Finances
Among the various assistances you provide to the elderly, looking after their finances is a must. This includes pension, saving, expenditure, and investments.
Don’t forget to keep an eye on scams. Even if scams are not so apparent in Malaysia, older people in other countries with less idea about technology are falling victim to people who steal money through the internet. In the UK only, 43% of people over 65 believe they have been scammed. Being scammed sometimes means losing every penny in your bank account. And although we can’t say for sure, situations such as this might soon escalate in our country.
Teach your seniors about healthy financing and ATM practices as well.
Only Healthy Food
Monitor their food. Of course, some senior citizens don’t want to be told what to do regarding food, but you should be considerate about it. Don’t cook spicy and hard to chew diet. Older adults’ bodies need nutrition, and it is your responsibility to provide it. Don’t forget their enzymes or digestive tablets. The gut is the place where more than half of the diseases originate, so you have to be very careful about what they are eating.
Arrange Caregivers if You Are Not Free All The Time
Consider a Nursing Home
A nursing home is an excellent option for the elderly in your house if you are busy all the time. Actually, it is more apparent in Malaysia where people work for hours every day. A nursing home will provide your folks the love, care, and security when your schedule doesn’t allow you to be with them. However, ensure that you first get their consent and ask their choice before getting a membership for the elderly.
Hire a Caregiver
Part-time maid as called in Malaysia, or more precisely a nanny can be of help if your parents don’t want to live in a nursing home. Also known as senior care professionals, nannies are good with older people and can be their companions in your absence. Anyway, choosing the right part-time maid is necessary because you are trusting your parents with them.
Importance of Elderly Care
We have talked a lot about the ‘how’ aspect, now let us talk about ‘why.’ These are the importance of caring for elderly parents in Malaysia.
First, it is a way of motivating the Elderly
When people see that someone is taking care of them, they feel important. This is the science behind elderly care. When senior citizens see that people are willing to do things for their benefits, they will be more willing to live.
Way of Overturning Health Issues
This is another benefit of caring for elderly parents. See, older people generally have a disease or two. The sickness negatively affects their lives during the time they deserve to take a break. The best thing we can do for them is helping them to the hospital when they need to go there and monitor their medicine intake.
Keeping Them Happy
Being old is not a reason to become sad- we can convey this message to the elders. Also, when they see us trying our best to help them, they become glad because of us. They give us blessings in their heart. It means a lot to us, doesn’t it?
What about this? During his time, was your father the most active soldier in the Malaysian Army? Was your mother the fairest maiden in the land? Well, elderly care translates to not letting them lose that part of themselves because of which they are known throughout the nation.
Your Kids Learn
One day all of us grow old. And all of us will need the support that we talked about in this article. When your kids see you respecting your aged parents, they will do the same to you when it is time. Thus, elderly care is also about passing the good culture to your coming generations.
Because they Deserve it
This is the ultimate importance of elderly care in Malaysia. You take care of them because they deserve it. They have been doctors, engineers, farmers, soldier, office workers, etc. during their time and they have played their part to help the world reach the place it is. They have experienced more than us, and they know the globe more than us- so caring for them is only a way for us to say we are thankful.
Are you looking for elderly care in Malaysia? What about a nursing home? Also, contact us if you have any questions about this article or want to know more about looking after your seniors. We will help you with every knowledge that we have.
These were some ideas for looking after your seniors. You can visit our blog section for more help with caring for elderly parents.