How to help seniors with their daily lives?
Maintaining a good quality of life is important for seniors.
It is in this spirit that children and families can help support their elderly parents by helping them with daily tasks, or the more complex ones such as housekeeping or decision-making between home support and moving out in a residence for retirees.
Encourage a senior citizen to stay active
Having a positive outlook on life can help seniors to have more energy, less stress, better appetite and prevent cognitive decline. Many seniors tend to isolate themselves when they stop driving or when health problems occur.
It is important to help your elderly parents stay active and encourage them to participate in activities organized by the municipality and even to get involved socially. Suggest that they invite friends to their home or apartment. Municipal libraries, museums or community centres offer many activities that may be of interest to them. In addition, these meetings are opportunities that will allow them to meet new people.
Keep in touch and call your parents regularly
Your parents like to hear from you. Even if you are far away and cannot visit them regularly, call them weekly. In this way, you will maintain good contact with your parents, asking them questions about their lives, needs and concerns.
This weekly action will help you better understand your parents’ needs and find out if they need help at home. A simple trick to remember to call your parents; add a reminder to your calendar.
Physical activity is essential to improve mood, endurance, and delay cognitive decline in seniors. For example, older parents can walk or participate in seniors’ exercise programs offered in their area.
8 key factors that will help you find out if a senior needs help
- Medical needs
- Cognitive health
- Mobility and personal hygiene
- The preparation or not of meals
- The level of social interaction
- Is the house safe and adapted to the needs of a senior
- Possible or not, support from family members
It is important to evaluate the support your parents already receive. Consider each of these points and ask what level of help your parents really need to be safe.
Feel free to take notes on your smartphone or notebook so you can keep up with the changing needs of your parents. This will help you take stock and determine what services or actions will be needed in the future.
For example, if you live far from your parents, the information you collect over time will help you assess whether your parents need home support or if they should consider moving to a seniors‘ residence. In short, you will have much of the information you need to support your parents.
Your parents might need help
For example, you could hire a professional caregiver to help organize home life, prepare meals, personal care and hygiene, and make sure your parents take their medications.
If one of your parents has reduced mobility or health problems, you must find the appropriate help. You will probably also need to invest in equipment and accessories suitable for the elderly and people with reduced mobility. As a result, the family home will be safer and more convenient, allowing them to stay at home and help them to live independently.
The needs of your parents change with age; question them
Find out about your parents’ plans. Do they want to stay at home or rather move to a seniors‘ residence? Maybe they want to get closer to the place where you live?
In this case, the choice of a home for autonomous or semi-autonomous seniors may be appropriate. A Retirement Home Advisor could help you and your parents in making this decision.
One of the most complicated topics to discuss with your parents is probably the driving license and the automobile. If your parents are no longer able to drive safely, you will have to convince them to stop using their car.
Make them understand that using their car could become dangerous. This discussion will no doubt be difficult, but you can help them make the right decision.
As with all other difficult decisions, the best thing to do is to inform yourself and communicate honestly with your parents. Do not hesitate to ask for help from the CLSC closest to your parents’ place of residence.
Keep in mind that the goal is to provide them with the best accompaniment, to give them the best support and the best care. Ultimately, these actions will increase their quality of life and their happiness and help to keep them at home safely.