Getting the most out of life means various things at different ages. While we all want to live a full, active lifestyle, the reality is that it must necessarily be balanced with our changing physical capabilities as we age. And when seeing our once infallible parents begin to struggle a little bit, then we wonder what a full life will look like for them in the future.
Here are what the outlook might be and different ways to approach it for siblings.
Helping Out, As Requested
Depending on whether there’s just one parent in the home or they’re a couple, different needs will be required.
Weekly Food Shopping Trip
Activities like shopping can often be managed well into their 60s and possibly their 70s too.
While lifting several bags from a shopping cart and into the trunk of their car may become a strength issue, opening a rear door, and sliding the shopping bags onto the back seat is a reasonable compromise.
Alternatively, staff at Walmart and another supermarket may be more helpful than you’d expect to do some heavy lifting. Getting the shopping bags from the car and carried into the home is another hurdle too.
Offering to help with certain activities isn’t an easy sell for one or both parents to accept. After all, they’ve been the adult in the relationship, so a reversal of the roles requires swallowing their pride and seeing the benefits of doing so. It can require a few attempts to offer assistance before they may accept it.
See if you can time visits before they would normally go shopping and tag along to help them. This can get their tacit approval even without needing to volunteer your assistance and be turned down. If you’re “going to the store anyway,” then they can mention the saving on gas by going together and feel satisfied that it’s for a good cause.
Become More Involved
Over time, you’ll find that they will begin to have further difficulties with everyday tasks or occasional ones. This is where building on previous assistance that you’ve been providing needs to be stepped up as you become more involved.
If you’re excellent at DIY, and your father keeps getting injured trying to complete small tasks around the house, then see about either doing them together for some father-son time or get these tasks handed over completely.
Similarly, depending on how open you are with communication, ask about what things aren’t getting done or that they’re struggling with? If they’re having trouble, tasks may just be continually left until a later time and never get done. When this continues for several years, they build up and begin to become inconveniences to their lives. This is where you can be extremely helpful.
And even if you’re not good at DIY, a handyperson could be hired for odd jobs. You may need to be present to encourage their acceptance, even if it’s been discussed though.
Adding a Caregiver into the Home
When taking care of themselves from a physical standpoint becomes difficult in some areas, then a caregiver might be needed. It’s not an ideal situation, but it can ensure their independence for a little longer.
There are some limitations to what a caregiver or nurse can do for them. Helping with bathing, cutting their nails, washing their hair, and tending to any minor abrasions should be fine. However, beyond that, it’ll be necessary to separate tasks that can be done by siblings on their parents’ behalf.
Fortunately, there are now plenty of delivery services and so on. These can be used strategically to get deliveries made of heavier items or to plug the gap in the services that are needed but fall outside of the remit of a caregiver or nursing role.
Moving to a Senior Living Facility
Living a full life can be facilitated by parents moving to a senior living facility. Given that this involves their leaving the home that they’ve probably lived in for many years, initially it’s a wrench.
Different emotions can bubble to the surface when first suggesting a senior facility. They could be angry or offended by the suggestion, only to come around to the idea as their struggles increase. As independent living becomes impractical, they may realize the benefits of moving to a place with other like-minded people where assistance is readily available.
Leaving a brochure in their home for senior homes in Fort Lauderdale, such as Belmont Village, isn’t a bad idea. It gives them a chance to reject the idea initially, but later take a look and modify their position. However, other parents may immediately see the benefits and embrace them quickly. It all depends.
What Happens from Here?
Senior living facilities include upscale living in great locations. Residence status usually includes the option to stay in a studio, a 1-bedroom apartment, or something larger. Also, residents have access to healthcare nearby and can be assisted in daily living too.
Some facilities include a swimming pool, organized fitness activities, social get-togethers, and more. A nurse is regularly available to resolve any health niggles that crop up. Also, various therapies along with an urgent care assistance program provide living support and medical assistance when it’s needed.
The idea of living in a community for seniors is that it provides many amenities that encourage a mentally and physically active life. Whether that’s through brain fitness programs or memory care ones to keep the brain healthier and manage occasional forgetfulness, it allows parents to grow old without losing their sense of self.
Can Parents Stay for a Short Time?
For parents who need extra assistance but do not wish to move, some facilities offer recovery stays.
This type of arrangement is designed for either reluctant seniors who need to “try before they buy,” for those people who’ve perhaps lost a partner recently, or generally aren’t coping well. So, that’s a flexible option to consider too.
Ultimately, for siblings with aging parents, it provides a dilemma when living far away. How to care for them when you have a full-time job, and cannot be there every day? A gradual, supportive adjustment to the way your parents live day-to-day is beneficial as they age. It shows that you care and eventually they usually appreciate it too.