4 Ways to Improve the Quality of Life for Your Elderly Parents


2017-02-19 20:10

If you have elderly parents, here's how to keep them both healthy and happy!

Aging parents often suffer setbacks in the quality of their lives as a result of illness and injuries. Whether you’re driving dad to his weekly medical checkups or helping mom deal with the challenge of walking with arthritis, the care you provide could be the difference between surviving and thriving. It begins with helping elderly parents stay independent longer.

Here are a few tips:

1. Attend to Their Mobility Problems

As your parents age, activities like climbing stairs, cleaning, and even walking become challenging for them. Make some changes to your living space to improve their mobility, such as fixing rails at the entrance of your home.

Stairways can also be replaced with options like stair lifts that reduce the risk of painful falls and allow elderly parents to stay safe on their own. Such technology allows young homeowners to improve the quality of life of their parents instead of moving them to an assisted living facility, which can increase your monthly expenses by $7,000 or more.

2. Ask Them for Help Occasionally

Being needed is an ego-booster that your parents could use once in a while. The benefits come in a better outlook on life, more enjoyment, and reduced stress. Ask your elderly parents to provide their help with things like preparing lunch, doing laundry, taking out the trash, sorting paper mail, and other routine chores – but only if they're able and willing.

Everyone, whether 20 or 60 years of age, hates coming off as a burden. Take your parents’ help now and then when carrying out smaller tasks to make them feel useful. You will notice that they feel better about life when they do something meaningful for others.

3. Prioritize Their Health

Quality of life can be maintained when your elderly parents remain in as good health as possible. Ensure that they complete all preventive illness tests, get all vaccines done on schedule (including flu shots), have eye exams annually, visit the dentist on time, take their prescribed medicines, use sun protection, and get medical checkups regularly.

Empower your loved one with the knowledge about the necessary steps needed to stay well. Once they develop the habit of taking care of themselves, they will be in greater control of their health. It is a good idea to keep tabs on their routine to ensure they’re managing it appropriately.

4. Make Them Stay Active

Find an exercise-related activity that your elderly parents enjoy. Exercising improves balance, enhances cognitive thinking, strengthens muscles, and improves blood flow throughout the body. All these factors can slow down the aging process. The activity could be anything from walking to yoga.

You can even mix up things by using a gaming station. Consoles like Wii offer exercise-related games that will make your parents get off the couch and participate, such as bowling and tennis. And it’s going to be easier to get them to move if you find them a workout buddy, which could be someone from the senior center or an elderly relative.

Apart from taking these measures, spend enough time with your parents. If you have a 9-to-5 job that keeps you occupied, look into a home care companion who can fill in your shoes during work hours while still giving a sense of independence to your loved ones.

Try these tips to keep your beloved parents in great health and happier instead of just getting by daily.