When many people think about being a family caregiver for an aging parent, they first think about the physical needs that they will be able to manage for their senior along with helping them to stay compliant with her medications and other treatments, encouraging them to stay active and eat a healthy diet, and making sure that they are managing their health issues in the way that are best for them. It is very important, however, that you remember this is not the only priority when you are caring for your senior. You should also make sure that you address their mental health needs as well. This includes stimulating their cognitive functioning to help to reduce the risk of decline and keep their mind sharp and responsive as they age in place.
Some simple ways to stimulate your parents mind each day include:
- Find a topic that interests them and encourage them it to research it with you. This research includes going on the internet, visiting the local library, going on road trips to pique interest, and more
- Encourage your parent to do craft projects or express themselves through art. Experiment with different types of mediums and find new products regularly
- Create a book club with you and your parents, or include friends, family, and neighbors as well. Read a chosen book and discuss it each week
- Have your parent get in the kitchen and cook or bake with you. Make them responsible for reading the recipe, finding the ingredients, doing measurements, and other tasks that involve different levels of cognitive processing
Being a family caregiver can be fulfilling and meaningful, but it can also be stressful. Handling your parent's needs as well as the needs of your children, your career, your marriage, your home, and yourself can leave you feeling as though there is never enough time and you never have enough energy. Fortunately, home care is there to help you. An in-home care provider can step in to fill care gaps, offer support and assistance when you need to focus on other responsibilities in your life, and encourage your parent to pursue independence, activity, and fulfilment throughout their later years. Knowing that your parent has this care can ease your stress, improve your quality of life, and allow you to manage your time and energy effectively. These services can include transportation to where they need and want to go, dignified and respectful support with personal care needs such as bathing and dressing, meal preparation to boost nutrition, medication reminders to help your parent stay compliant with their health needs, and companionship to support mental and emotional health and well-being as they age in place.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring caregivers in Johns Creek, GA, please contact the caring staff at Home Helpers, call (678) 430-8511.