Perhaps you find yourself caring for them under unforeseen circumstances and feel a strong sense of duty in caring for them. Most likely, this new situation has you feeling a little overwhelmed and pulled in too many directions.
No matter what the circumstance, your parent doesn't want to feel like an added stress in your life. Rather, there are a few ways you can support them so that they remain independent and happy, while you feel confident that they're safe. To do so, consider what your aging parent actually needs from you as you enter this new phase of your relationship.
1. Establish a routine
Your parent has entered a new stage in their life, and you, in turn, have inherited their parental responsibilities. This can be a stressful transition and your intention should not be to make your parent feel that their new circumstance is a hindrance to your life.
Start by building a routine that helps to create consistent behaviour in daily or weekly activities. Practice communicating with one another in a gentle and supportive tone, rather than allowing stress to make you reactive. This is a chapter in life that is still meant to be enjoyed, and so it's important to find joy in the moments you share together. Sometimes the best routine is looking forward to the cup of coffee you share following appointments.
2. Protect your parent at home
Often, the most important thing to our aging parents is to continue living in their own home. Leaving the place you love to move into an assisted living home can be frightening. If your parent is able to live at home rather than in a facility, they'll feel happier and more in control of their life.
This can only be made possible if your parents are safe and secure when alone. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, "falls are the leading cause of injuries among Canadians 65 years and older. Research suggests that falls are the direct cause of 95% of all hip fractures, leading to death in 20% of cases." Plan for simple upgrades to stairs, bathrooms and patios to prevent falls at home. Many provinces offer tax incentives for home upgrades for seniors, so be sure to research the options available to you.
3. Connect your parent with support
You want to ensure that in the event of an emergency, your parents are able to immediately contact emergency response. As a preventative measure, provide your parent with the best tools to ensure their safety. AlarmCare is a leader in home security, and they have developed new technology to provide users with immediate assistance.
AlarmCare Medical Alert is an ideal user-friendly system for seniors, those who are at risk of falling, or those who live with a disability. The device can actually detect a fall and will automatically notify operators in its instance, without seniors having to reach out for assistance. In the event of an emergency, users have direct contact with a response team at the push of a button. Using a live two-way voice communicator, AlarmCare can determine the situation and notify loved ones or emergency services. The individual can wear the discrete device as a pendant or on a belt clip. For at-home protection, there are affordable monthly rates and AlarmCare provides complimentary installation by trained professionals.
Both you and your parent are in a transitional period in your lives, but adjustments can be made to enhance your experiences and your relationship with one another.