There will almost always come a time in the life of seniors when they are simply unable to care for themselves and their homes as they once were. While they may not need an assisted living residence or memory care, some of the things they easily did daily are beyond what they can comfortably manage today.
Sadly, one of the things which your elderly parents cannot manage is living on Social Security with the cost of living and the huge amount of inflation we’ve experienced within the past year or so. If you are moving your aging parents in with you, there are a few things you should be prepared for.
Help with Self Care
Two of the things many elderly people have difficulty with is getting in and out of the shower or tub and taking care of their dentures. As odd as that might sound, those really are two tasks that are somehow difficult to manage. Sadly, as the body ages, bones start to become brittle and are easily chipped. We tend to think of this in terms of hips which are commonly broken in older folks but the bones in their mouths start to disintegrate as well. This makes it difficult to keep dentures in, so they take them out to eat. This can have grave consequences, especially if they are suffering from some degree of age-related dysphagia.
Having an inability to swallow, they often choke on foods they can’t chew thoroughly. It would be in your best interest to check out the SimplyThick company for products developed to thicken liquids. This way, you can give your parents foods that have been put through the food processor and literally liquified. Add a bit of thickening agent to bring those soupy foods to the consistency of pudding and they can easily ‘eat’ all their favorite foods they were unable to swallow.
Progressive Memory Loss
Not all seniors suffer from progressive memory loss and will stay sharp as a needle for the remainder of their lives. Others suffer from various degrees of cognitive issues, and as their memory and critical thinking start to fail them, they may need extra measures of care. Some families are able to keep aging parents with dementia with no trouble at all while others need the services of a skilled assisted living memory care residence.
If your parents begin to suffer from memory loss, just be patient with them. They will already become flustered enough when they can’t remember a word or name and others will become downright hostile. If you opt to keep them at home with you, maybe because of finances, then it would be good to join caregivers’ groups so that you can get the help you need caring for them.
It May Only Be a Temporary Fix
There may come a time when the needs of your aging parents are more than you are able to provide. Just realize that moving them in with you may only be a temporary fix. Don’t feel as though you’ve let them down if you need to move them into a senior residence with qualified nursing staff on site. By this point, they may not even recognize you which will make it harder yet for you to care for your beloved parents who did so much for you.
Don’t feel guilty. Do what you can do and when it is beyond the scope of what you can handle, the best thing you can do for them is to get them the help they need to live out their remaining days as comfortable as possible and with a quality of life you can’t provide.