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How to take care of aged parents at Home?
How to take care of your ageing parents?
When the aging parents are no longer able to care for themselves the younger members of the family have some real decisions to make. Every true son or daughter naturally wants to do what is best for their ageing parents, but how can they know for sure what to do?
Whenever possible, ageing parents should be allowed to remain in their own homes as long as feasible. Some may need the services of a caregiver, or some help in getting their meals. Be careful not to restrict their activities too much. Keep the ageing parents vigorous and active, and this may help to avoid some of the more serious complications that so often arise from inactivity.
Eventually, the time may come when the nursing home will have to be considered. What kind of a place should you choose? That naturally depends on the type of patient. Those who are up and about can usually get along with less expensive care. Bedridden patients may need the services of a trained nurse to supervise their treatment. Others may do well with the help of an attendant.
Whether the ageing parents are in a convalescent hospital or cared for at home, there are certain things that must always be watched. If he/she is bedridden great care must be taken to prevent bedsores. These usually arise because of prolonged pressure on the bony prominences of the back, and also on the heels and sides of the ankles.
Bedsores are often slow in healing and are a constant source of infection. Paint the ulcerated area and compound tincture of benzoin and apply an infrared heat lamp for about twenty minutes two or three times a day. This will often help to heal bedsores, provided the patient still has an adequate circulation of the blood. Some infections respond well to the use of ultraviolet lamp, but one must take care not to burn the skin.
The diet of the ageing parents is also important. Their meals should be well prepared and attractively served. If he/she cannot chew his food properly, see that it is cut up or purred so that he can get all the nourishment from his meals. Your may consult your physician to know which vitamins and minerals are good for the better health of your ageing parents.
Ageing parents should always be allowed to live their own lives as much as possible. Encourage them to be independent, doing all they can to help themselves. Do not be too annoyed if they sometimes seem childish and refuse to follow your instructions. Just give them a little time to think things through. By being tactful and kind you may persuade them later.
Ageing parents who are mentally ill should always have the help of a qualified psychiatrist. If agitated or depressed, they can often be helped by use of suitable tranquilizers. But these must be prescribed in the right dosage to meet the individual patient’s needs.
It is common practice in the West that the parents, when they attained old age, are admitted in old age Homes and thereafter children pay visits to their parents after months, years and in some cases on their funerals. However, in the East, where family ties are very strong, it sounds strange. Here in this part of the world most of the people live in a joint family system where aged parents live with their sons. They get the opportunity to enjoy the lively and innocent activities of their grand daughters and grandsons. They also enjoy other pleasures of life together with other family members.
Many serious conditions may be first noted during the later years of life, some of which are discussed as under:-
1. Hardening of the Arteries: All younger members of the family should realize that best way to tackle hardening of the arteries is to follow a balanced programme of living. Weight control is most important, particularly in those who are obese. A low-fat diet will help to reduce the weight and lower the cholesterol level of the blood.
2. High Blood Pleasure or hypertension, usually comes on during the later years of life. Its most serious complications can often be avoided by following a lifelong habit of sensible living. Young members of the family help their ageing parents to follow a well balanced programme of exercise and rest. Walking is an excellent form of exercise.
3. Heart trouble is a greatest cause of death today. However, pains in the chest are not always due to heart trouble. Tell your ageing parents to do not try to do too much. They should learn to live with this condition. Heart patents should not smoke. They should also abstain from coffee and alcohol.
4. Diabetes may come on in later life, and is usually rather mild, so that it may not be recognized until a person has a routine medical examination. Fortunately, this form of diabetes is easier to control than the juvenile type that occurs in younger people. If your ageing parent is overweight, he/she be encouraged to bring their weight down to normal by gradually reducing their dietary intake. However, any sudden weight loss could be serious in a diabetic. All infections must be quickly cleared up, especially if they involve the feet and legs.
5. Your ageing parent may suffer from gas and dis-tension of the stomach and intestines. Younger members of the family should take care that their ageing parents may not use high enemas and harsh laxatives too frequently, for these may cause trouble in the colon.
6. Cancer may strike at any time of life, but it is always more common during the later years. Any chronic sore appearing on the face, head, or neck could be due to skin cancer, and should be given due care and proper medical check up is important. Cancer may also occur in the stomach, rectum, breast, and genital areas.