It’s inevitable that one day your parents will grow older.
And when that time comes, you’ll want to look after them as best as you can.
This is the case for more than seven million people in the UK, many of whom care for elderly loved ones while holding down full-time jobs and trying to maintain their social lives.
These people are, put simply, heroes. But even if your parent doesn’t need 24-hour care, it’s still important to know what you can do for them.
With that in mind, we’ve put together this list of tips to make caring for your parents that little bit easier. We hope they help.
Find time for you
According to the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC), ‘80% of carers report that caring for someone living with a long-term condition has had a negative impact on their health.’
While there are myriad reasons for this, one is undeniably the demanding schedule which becoming a carer entails.
That’s why it’s important to find time for yourself outside of your work and caring duties. Have a morning every week where you do something that’s just for you, whether that means going for a walk, reading a book, or vegging out with the latest Netflix series.
These small pockets of time will alleviate a great deal of stress, and leave you a healthier person all-round.
Involve your parents
No one wants to feels as though their life is out of their control. And if you’re making plans for your parents without keeping them in the loop, then you’ll inevitably be met with resistance.
Having sensible discussions with your parents could reduce the inevitable strain and friction around these sensitive topics. After all, you may be their carer but they’re still adults.
When mobility issues arise, you’ll have to ensure that your parents are able to traverse their home safely.
Stairlifts, bath hoists, and adjustable beds are only a few examples here. And while no one could call these purchases cheap, they’re investments which will make your parent’s quality of life more substantial.
Once these aids are no longer needed, they can be collected by companies like We Buy Any Stairlift, which will pay you for the price of your stairlift so they can prepare it for resale.
Have a plan
Caring for your elderly parents isn’t something that should be done with spontaneity. To make your schedule a little less hectic, assemble a care plan with the help of a professional, your parents and your support network.
Your plan will act like a safety net, and can be consulted whenever you feel overwhelmed.
Sort out your feelings
It’s not always easy to describe the emotional tumult caused by becoming a carer, and sometimes talking isn’t an option.
So, keep a diary to help understand your feelings in a private space. This is a therapeutic act that could moor you when you’re feeling untethered.
Those are our tips on how to be an effective carer. Let me know in the comments if you have any advice of your own.