Parents make a lot of sacrifices for their children while bringing them up to ensure that they lead a better life, and it is only fair for them to expect a reciprocal response in return. Before nuclear families became common in the western world, the family system was strong enough to guarantee this at one level or the other. Family values ensure that children, upon reaching adulthood, take care of their parents.
However, after the emergence of the family system, priority is usually given to the married couple, who become the de-facto heads of the family. The elderly, who no longer live with their children, either live alone or are sent to nursing facilities for care. While many elderly members of the family still live with their adult children in the western world, the common trend is usually against it.
On the other hand, in Asia, the family system is still strong enough, and the elderly usually live with their children. Family values of many eastern states are still held in high regard, and people spend their lives with their families, even in old age. The same can also be found in South Asia, where social values are the centerpiece of people’s daily lives.
Considering how many people are reporting abuse in nursing homes, it is time that people start taking responsibility for elderly members of their families. If you are taking care of your parents or grandparents and are concerned about giving them a comfortable life, you have come to the right place. The following tips can be helpful in this regard:
1. Spend Time With Them
You need to spend time with the elderly members of your family. People who get old and do not socialize much tend to get lonely. One’s family acts as one’s primary support base. So, if your elders are not outgoing, they probably expect you to make time for them. You should reserve some time from your busy schedule for this purpose. They have a lifetime of experience to share, and you can also discuss your problems with them. Not only would this ease their loneliness, but the time you spend with them will be memorable. Your goal is to ensure that all of you have a good time together.
2. Look After Their Diet
As we grow old, our eating patterns change. We do not usually even need the same maintenance calories in old age as we do in our active adulthood. So, if you are looking after their diet, you need to ensure that they are getting the right nutrients. Their calorie intake is limited, and you need to squeeze in the required nutrients in those meals. Part of healthy living is having a good diet. Your elderly parents would be pleased to have you look after their diet and keep them healthy. You might want to speak to a nutritionist before you start pursuing a specific diet plan.
3. Encourage Them To Be Active
You should encourage them to be active. Not only does it keep them physically fit, but it also keeps them mentally fit. Exercise is essential for healthy living. If they cannot go to the park alone, accompany them for walks. Even spending some time in a natural environment has many health benefits, and you need to ensure that they develop an active routine. If they can make friends in the nearby park, they will be more comfortable going there. Until then you should accompany them.
4. Introduce Them To The Internet
Technology is significantly making life easier for people. If your elderly parents have siblings in other states or countries, you can help them stay in touch with them by introducing them to the internet. Get them a fast smartphone and show them how they can use social media and communication apps to connect with the world. Using the internet can be a good pastime, and it would also relieve them of their boredom as well. Moreover, they can easily find their favorite content on YouTube. What you need to do is introduce them to a variety of apps and let them figure out their utility for themselves.
5. Engage Them In Your Life
As mentioned above, your elderly family members have a lifetime of experiences to share. If you are facing a problem, you can go to them for help, and they might be able to help you out. Even if there are no problems in your life, you can still engage them in your daily life to keep them active. The more involved they are in your life, the more they will enjoy the time together. This also keeps them mentally active and helps them feel accepted in the social setting.
6. Use Technology
If there are mobility issues, you can use various gadgets to make life easier for them. Heart monitors and intercoms can be useful pieces of tech and can significantly improve their day-to-day life. Recliners can also be used to help them relax. Not only is it comfortable, but it can also help with back pain. So, investing in technology is a wise choice. There are other gadgets as well that can also help improve their lives.
7. Take Them For Regular Checkups
Elderly people cannot usually take care of themselves, so if you have taken responsibility, you need to also look after their physical health. Take them to the doctor for regular checkups so that you can get a clear picture of their health and if any lifestyle adjustments are required. If the doctors recommend supplements, you should ensure that they are regularly taking their supplements.
8. Keep Them Connected To The Society
Humans are social creatures, and if someone has spent their life being social, they probably dread being at home. Try to keep them connected to society. Encourage activities that keep them busy. Depending on their past profession, they can get involved in a range of activities to keep themselves busy. You should also take them out for dinner and show them around the city.
This list is far from complete, but it still gives you a gist about taking care of elderly members of the family. If you do everything properly, you can help them lead happy and healthy lives.