Caring for an Aging Parent

Is your aging parent starting to need help with some of the everyday tasks at home? A change in functioning doesn’t necessarily mean it’s time to move to assisted living or a nursing home. Sometimes all they need is a little help with chores or some extra support so they can continue to live in their home.  Start by asking your loved one what they need help with, discuss your concerns with them, and coordinate with their primary care doctor. That way they’ll still feel like they’re in charge and you’ll get a good feel for what is really needed to keep them safe, comfortable, and happy.

Photo by Clément Falize on Unsplash

Maybe a few modifications to the home, such as grab bars for the shower or a stair lift can make things safer for them and reduce the worry for you.

Maybe you can stop by once a week to do yard work or household chores and prepare some meals for them.  If they have difficulty with bathing or dressing, you could stop by once a day to help. However, don’t be afraid to get some extra care giving help.  Here are some ideas:

  • Use a laundry pickup and delivery service to take laundry day right off the chore list.
  • Set up a reminder schedule for medications using specially designed pill boxes or high-tech reminder devices.
  • To save time picking up the medications, choose a local pharmacy that offers prescription delivery service.
  • Hire a home health aide who can help with some of the household chores and meal preparation as well as some of the personal care tasks and medication reminders.
  • Use a grocery delivery or meal delivery service.
  • Take advantage of programs and services at the local senior center, especially for socialization and exercise.

For busy professionals living in cities like Boston, caring for an aging parent can be overwhelming. Don’t sweat it out all by yourself. A little extra help here and there can make all the difference in your quality of life, as well as your parent’s!

Tips for Healthy Aging for Women

We get older every year. That’s just a part of life. Staying active and healthy ensures that you’ll feel your best at any age. What can you do to age healthily?  Here are a few tips for keeping yourself healthy and active.

Get moving.

We’ve all heard that exercise helps us live longer and feel better.  The best way to work regular exercise into your schedule is to pick an activity that you enjoy so you’ll stick with it.  A daily walk, a yoga class, or doing some gardening can all make a difference. You can add more movement to your ordinary routine by things like taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking in the farthest parking space.

Eat smart.  

Small changes like choosing leaner proteins (chicken or fish) and whole grains, adding fruits and vegetables to each meal, and drinking water instead of sugary soda can make a big difference in how you feel.

Make room for some “Me Time.” 

Be sure to allocate some time for activities that nourish your spirit and help you get rid of stress.  There’s more to life than errands and chores.  Use a laundry service to free up some of that chore time for meditation, exercise, knitting, reading, or whatever refreshes you.

Pay attention to your health. 

Don’t forget to schedule your annual checkup and screenings as recommended by your physician.  Aging and stress can increase your need for some vitamins and minerals, so consider getting vitamins and supplements from your local pharmacy.

Life can get even busier when you add caring for aging parents or a disabled family member to your responsibilities.  Consider hiring a homecare aide to help with your caregiving responsibilities if you need a respite in order to stay healthy yourself.