Monday, March 19, 2012

Are your parents taking care of themselves?

Understanding when your parents need help with daily activities is important in assisting them with the transitions that all elderly individuals face. These transitions may be both emotionally and physically taxing; however, they are a natural part of life and can be made smoothly with the right attention. Many individuals in Durham are helping their parents through the aging process, and you can help yours by monitoring their ability to continue to live independently.

Senior care services are available in many degrees, from total home care to basic assistance with daily activities. Understanding how well your parents are able to take care of themselves will help you determine when, and if, these senior services are needed. Consider Marissa and her parents, Donnie and Mable.

Donnie and Mable live near their daughter, who stops in to check on them a couple of times each week. Over the last few months, Marissa has noticed that her parents have a difficult time with some everyday activities, including yard work, lifting dishes into high cabinets, and using the restroom. Marissa knows her parents are capable of performing these tasks, but they seem to be more exhausting than ever before.

Understanding how well your parents are taking care of themselves is key in providing the best elder care possible. This does not mean that you must hire home care professionals right away; it means that you should understand the challenges your parents face and help them overcome these obstacles in a way that promotes their values. For example, Marissa noticed her mother having a hard time putting heavy dishware in the top cabinet. Instead of simply doing the task for her, Marissa offered to help her mother by putting the dishes up as she handed them to her. This way, Mable is able to participate in unloading the dishwasher without putting undue strain on her body.

The aging process is one that can make individuals feel insecure about their capabilities. If these same individuals are reluctant to accept help, they may simply not want to burden anyone else. This reaction is common, especially among elderly individuals who are just now noticing their restrictions. By paying attention to your parents you can determine if they are taking good care of themselves and, if not, how to address this challenge.

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