With an ageing population, we all must learn how to take care of our parents when they become older. This can be both in terms of health and in trying to make sure they feel alright. With widowers, this can be important. The best thing to do in any of these situations is to listen to what they want. Remember that they have been more independent for longer than you may have and even having a little independence taken away from you can be a shock to the system. We have got some helpful (if sometimes obvious) points to remember if you fall into a caregiver role at some point in your life.
Read on and find out how to help care for your elderly parents.
Respect Them And Their Space
The most important thing to do is to respect them, their choices and their home. Do not treat them any differently or baby them. This is disrespectful. In terms of their home, keep the surroundings how they like it. If decorations need to be done, ask for their opinion- or help if they are able. Always treat them as an equal and respect their dignity at all times.
Learn How To Communicate
In a lot of cases, there can be a communication barrier, particularly in cases where health has affected speech or hearing. Learn how your elderly friend works and communicate with them in the best way possible so that they are not left feeling like they don’t have a voice. This point can also be made in the sense that you should know when or how they like to communicate. If they appreciate a nice text in the morning, then take 5 seconds of your day to send one. Little things like this will keep them smiling.
Be A Listener
The elderly have so many stories to tell and sometimes all they need is an ear to bend or a shoulder to cry on. Listen to them, get to know them, but always keep their confidentiality. This comes back to our point about respect. They are your parents so you should know this already, but make sure you always respect that they may not want everyone to hear their stories, just you.
Make Sure They Can Rely On You
This does not mean being constantly available at the drop of a hat, we all have lives. What it does mean is keeping promises and making sure you don’t let your parents down. If you said you were going to visit, do it. If you said you would help them get their food shopping, you do it. Keeping these promises will help them feel more at ease in life.