You have come to a point in your life when it’s time to think about your aging parents and all the care they’ve given you over the years. You are noticing with increasing frequency that they simply aren’t able to care for themselves as they once were. You’ve been debating whether you should find them an assisted living residence or bring them home with you.
After careful consideration and speaking with your spouse and kids, you’ve decided the best and kindest move would be to bring them home with you. However, there are some things within eldercare that you may not be prepared for. The following 3 tips will give you the help you need to help them.
1. Be Careful of What They Eat
Many older people, especially those with early stages of Alzheimer’s disease can develop a loss of muscles you may not have considered. This is often the case when eating and swallowing. As those muscles lose tone and function, they can develop issues with swallowing, so it pays to watch for a condition called dysphagia.
If you notice that they frequently aspirate liquids, you might want to thicken them a bit. Check out the SimplyThick instant food thickener for swallowing disorders that will enable your parents to swallow easier and safer. You can add this thickener to soups as well. Swallowing disorders are not something you may have been advised about, so do the research.
2. Watch for Subtle Changes in Their Vision
Another thing you may not be prepared for is progressive issues with their vision. Sometimes those stumbles that you fear will lead to falling are not caused by weak muscles. They may have something developing called macular degeneration, which can be slowed significantly with eye-specific vitamins containing one of two carotenoids called lutein.
Carotenoids help filter light that enters the eye, significantly reducing damage. Now you know why your mother told you to eat your carrots if you want to see at night like the bunnies! That’s because of the carotenoids they eat in sufficient quantities to protect their delicate eyes.
3. Keep Them as Active as Possible
You may be so grateful for all that they’ve done for you and your family over the years that you want to give them a rest. Be careful here because overdoing it could be the worst thing you can do for their mental and physical health. A certain amount of physical activity every day will help keep their blood flowing.
Activity is needed to keep their bones and muscles strong but also to give them something to look forward to each day. Even a leisurely walk around the block can work wonders. Also, if you don’t include them in some family activities for fear it’s too much for them, they may feel unwanted or useless. Keep their activity within their limits but do include them as much as possible.
Above and Beyond What You Already Knew
You already knew about the mood swings and other bodily functions that may deteriorate over time, but did anyone prepare you for what to watch for in terms of vision and eating? It may not be the case, so use these tips wisely to help your aging parents stay as safe and active as long as possible.