How to Spend Time with Aging Parents
Nearly 10 million US citizens are caregivers and spend time with their aging parents who have dementia. The job is grueling, and many of these caregivers have other duties too. Most of them work on a daily basis, have kids of their own, and somehow find time to care for their aging parents too. It can be excruciating to raise your own children and all of a sudden become a “parent” for your parents too. The responsibilities can be huge, and some people can’t do it all by themselves.
Do a little digging into the chores of a caregiver, and get to know as much as possible about Alzheimer’s. It won’t be easy but at least you’ll have some pointers on how to be better at lessening your loved one’s suffering. Here are 5 important tips to help you make spending time with an aging parent a pleasant and enjoyable experience.
5 Tips on How to Spend time with Aging Parents
1. The first step to making your job as a caregiver easier is to accept it. You are no longer just a parent to your kids or just a worker with a 9 to 5 job; you are a caregiver to your own parent too.
At first, the tasks involved will overwhelm you, and at times you may feel like the world is crashing over your head.
Experts claim that caregiving doesn’t have to involve taking care of a patient 24/7.
Alzheimer’s is a serious condition, and as it advances it may become difficult for you to cope with your parent’s mood swings and changes in personality. In this case, you might want to consider professional assistance.
- Spend quality time with parents daily
Alzheimer’s is a degenerative disease that affects the brain. Sooner or later your aging parent will start forgetting things. He will begin having irrational behaviors, experience memory loss and you will be compelled to consider professional assistance. You can either hire a nurse to assist with daily chores or put your loved one in a nursing home or assisted living facility. Make sure to visit them daily for at least 20 minutes, and try to enjoy the time spent together. This will give both of you strength and willpower to move on and just make the most of the time you have left together.
- Bring albums
Albums with family photos is an excellent way of making your aging parent feel happy again. Even if they won’t remember everything, you might strike a nerve with photos that depict essential moments of their life, such as their wedding, your birth, and others. If you can, write the date of the picture underneath, as well as the names of the people in the photo. This is a great way of helping an Alzheimer’s patient remember things without struggling.
- Read to them from their favorite books
Dementia is without a doubt one of the worst possible diseases that occurs in seniors. Sadly, there’s no proven cure for it; several related studies performed over the years claim that reading can delay the materialization of dementia. But there’s no living proof this is true.
Visiting parents in nursing homes doesn’t just mean stopping by every once in awhile. Make the most of that time and bring with you a former book your loved one adored. Start reading it to them and they might even reckon parts of the book. Reading is an excellent type of activity for the brain.
- Set up monthly meetings with the whole family
It is extremely important to help aging parents maintain a sense of reality. Dealing with dementia or Alzheimer’s is tough; however, rather than complain and do nothing about it, you should at least try. Set up monthly meetings with the whole family; bring the kids along and other siblings, and spend quality time together.
Allow the little ones to interact, and say their names numerous times for your parent to remember it. Even if your mother or father may forget names and even that meeting, if you do it often enough it will be like waking them up from a dream every month.
Whether in early or advanced stage or dementia, it is fundamental for the aging parent to receive periodic visits from the people he cares most about. Be prepared as the visits won’t always be the same. Sometimes they will remember you, other times they won’t. Show that you care and make the most of every second.
A few Fun Activities to enjoy together
Kid’s Card Games -Remember Go Fish!Outside Play – Even from a Sitting PositionShare Movies from their generationLotion on hands and arms by Loved one feels so goodShare Memories from days gone bySomeone to hold when you walk away