The bond between grandparents and grandchildren is particularly special and mutually beneficial. Regular meetings will facilitate the growth of this bond.
It’s not always easy to maintain a work-life balance these days given the breakneck pace at which most people take on professional commitments. With so many people vying for the same job, nobody is indispensable and the knowledge of this is only added pressure:
Living in this pressure-cooker scenario has many couples struggling to pay enough attention to their own children, leave alone look after their ageing parents. However, they cannot and must not shy away from their duty. Their children alone are not their responsibility. They need to ensure their elderly parents are also well-taken care of, despite their packed schedule.
Tips for caring for elderly parents:
Stay in touch.
No matter where you are, you can stay connected. Today physical distance is not an excuse to go out of contact with your parents. Ensure they have access to modern communication methods and educate them on how to use them. Depression and loneliness are far worse killers than any other bodily disease. Talk to your parents at least once a day without fail to remind them that no matter how far apart you may be, they are never alone and not forgotten.
Visit your parents regularly.
Whether they live in the next street or on another continent, you need to plan visits as often as possible. Video calls can never replace interacting in person. If your parents are able enough to travel, invite them over. A change of scenery and the prospect of spending time with their children and grandchildren will get their spirits up. The bond between grandparents and grandchildren is particularly special and mutually beneficial. Regular meetings will ease the growth of this bond.
Hire a trained caregiver
In case you have a parent, who has health problems that have made them weak or immobile, it is best to hire a trained nurse to take care of his/her needs. Whether your parents live with you or away, having a nurse around will be of great assistance to them. It will also help you get on with your work free of guilt and worry.
Encourage your parents to socialise.
Everyone needs a social life to stay active and entertained! Encourage your parents to take part in programs and events designed for senior citizens. This way they can expand their social circle and will feel less lonely and bored. From just a walk in the park in the community they live into a hobby class, they can pick an activity they are most comfortable with and get out of the house and away from their worries.
Take your parents out.
You can plan a short vacation with your parents or just take them out for dinner. This will also break away from the monotony of always hanging out at home. If your parents live with you, there is a chance that you do not even think about taking them out to spend time with. This could be because of your own stressful commitments at work. Hence catching a movie with your folks, dining out or indulging in guilt-free window shopping at the mall, will give you some quality time with your parents and a break from your routine.
Divide and conquer.
If you have siblings, then the responsibility of caring for your parents is not yours alone. Get your siblings involved in the care and upkeep of your parents. Sharing the responsibility will reduce your stress. You can also get your spouse and kids to help you out. On days when you are busy at work, your spouse can drive them to a doctor’s appointment, or the kids can go with them to the park. When you must single-handedly look after your parents, even caring for your parents will become a job.
Install home monitoring systems.
Irrespective of whether your parents are alone at home when you are away, or have a trained nurse with them, by installing home monitoring systems you can keep track of their movement. Today you have the option of keeping these systems online, which means that at any time of the day you can check in on them via an app on your phone. You can be sure that they are safe and out of harm’s way. You can also keep an eye on the helper and avert any kind of abuse.
Ensure periodical doctor visits.
Your parents may be active and healthy, but that does not mean they should skip a visit to the doctor for a general health check-up. Enlist the support of a geriatric service like Dr. K Eldercare from Dr. Kamakshi Memorial Hospital to make sure your parents are getting expert care. Such services are beneficial to elderly patients who cannot visit the hospital because the geriatrician will visit them instead. Even if you are away, they will make regular follow-ups and keep you posted on their findings and medical advice.
Taking care of elderly family members is the duty of everyone at home. Be it spending time with them, driving them to the doctor or simply reading a few pages from their favourite book, children must make time for their elderly parents despite their busy schedules.
CONSULTANT – GERIATRICS
MBBS., MD GERIATRICS