As children, it’s hard for us to consider the thought that one day we might have to care for the hands that raised us from birth. It’s difficult to imagine those strong arms that were always there to catch you when you fell off your bike or the gentle touch that helped heal any cut or bruise might not be able to take away the pain or save you from your fears. However, the fact that our parents will age and no longer have the strength or energy as before does not have to be a horrible burden or tragic phase of life. Old age and wrinkles are results of a life well lived. The changing of roles is universal and unstoppable. We must change our perspective, honor those who have lived a long life and allow them the freedom and services to relax and reflect on a lifetime of memories.
While we might be able to alter our viewpoint and see this new phase in a brighter light, there are still many issues of concern and plenty of arrangements to prepare for. Because of our almighty image of our parents, it might be hard to see beyond the normal signs of aging and accept that they might no longer be able to care for themselves. This is a hard realization and an intimidating process to attacak without any preparations. It is important to understand the differences between typical aging and a more serious condition that needs medical attention and monitoring.
Pay attention to the details in your parents’ lives. From their clothes and physical appearance to their household and manicured yard, it is important to notice any changes in daily patterns of life. It’s one thing to forget where your keys are or overlook an appointment but it’s another thing to repeatedly neglect household chores and physical hygiene. Take note of their driving skills and whether or not they are able to follow directions. Perhaps key words are often forgotten or they find themselves lost in a familiar place. These can all be signs of a more serious issue beyond our aging bodies such as dementia, depression or Alzheimer’s disease. Weight loss is another sign of a rising issue. It could be a result of several issues including difficulty cooking and loss of taste or smell. These unusual observations, while they might seem insignificant, are strong indicators to take action and prepare for a change of course.
As You Prepare for Retirement, Consider Elderly Care Too
Over the past decades, there has been a shift in the livelihood of older generations. Today, we are more likely to be in our mid-fifties with our parents still alive but aging. Whereas, in the 1920s, by the time you reached your fifties, it was rare for both parents to still be living. While you might be preparing for your retirement, these days you should also consider elderly care for your parents. For many, when they reach their retirement age, their parents might still be living but are unable to care for themselves.
When things begin to slip and multiple issues of losing things and forgetting the small details occur, it might be time to sit down and discuss future plans of health care. We all feel a sense of devotion to our parents, however, we do not need to feel obligated to sacrifice our life and independence to fully care for our aging parents—it can be a bigger challenge than you might have thought. On the other hand, if you are prepared to serve and willing to care, being the main caregiver can be an extremely rewarding experience.
It’s important to discuss all of your options early on so that you can have a plan that fits your lifestyle along with your parents and the rest of your family. There are many issues to be discussed, such as finances, legal wills and type of care, along with many other details. This can seem like an overwhelming process and not a topic easily discussed. Do the research early and build a plan that works for you and your loved ones. The AARP offers a free online seminar, Planning for the Care of Aging Parents, to act as a guide in the planning process.
A Perfect Solution for Our Aging Parents
At Park Terrace Assisted Living, we understand the stress and fears of having parents that are in need of some assistance and we are available to answer any questions you may have. We welcome you to schedule a tour and to come have lunch with us! We’d love to show you why Park Terrace has been the perfect solution for many of our aging parents!
Park Terrace Village – Senior Living
712 Broadway Street, South Fulton, TN 38257