Even if you live with your parents, sometimes it becomes challenging to monitor them closely with the hectic schedules everyone has nowadays, and while we love them, we also don’t want to have to pass on them every night because “the TV doesn’t work”. Here are some practical tips to reduce stress on each other.
Duct Tape Is Your Best Friend
The market still doesn’t understand that older people love to watch TV, but they don’t know anything about remote controls with 52 little buttons and 374 menus. Since all the peripherals are hard to understand, choose a package with a broader range of channels. For instance, you can choose a smart TV to slide the provider card into the back and control the remote: channels and audio should help on one side.
Wrap a large paper towel around the part of the remote that controls the menu as a buffer. Then, wrap a piece of cheerful colored tape over the paper towel. This will not only make the remote control wider and easier to grip but also prevent the elderly from saying, “I wanted to watch the news, but I got lost in the settings”.
If you choose a universal/senior remote control, make sure it will work with your TV model when you buy it. If it doesn’t, you will only suffer. Adhesive tape is also helpful to avoid confusing buttons on modern washers, dryers, and microwaves.
Take pictures of the remote control and other control panels so you can talk on the phone with super seniors who may be blocked (“Just press the second button from the right and the TV will switch from radio to screen”).
Make Everything Easier for Yourself
You can organize a lot of things from the comfort of your home. Take pictures of the medications your parents are taking so you can switch to the correct dosage in case of an unexpected stroke. Collect social security numbers, insurance numbers, and phone numbers for meal services, cab buses, daycare, general practitioners, medical nurses, and specialists to see what services they use. If you need to record or delete something, having it in a folder on your phone will save you time.
Have Difficult Conversations
The closer your relationship with your parents is, the easier it will be. Even if your mother or father is a stubborn lady or gentleman, knowing what your parents want when they can no longer point it out themselves can help you avoid major problems and dilemmas. If possible, talk to your brother, sister, or partner where they are so that you can get support and witnesses.
If your father or mother has a brain hemorrhage, dementia, or Alzheimer’s disease, where are the essential documents? Do they want their children to help them? Do you have a management system in place?
If one of your parents were to pass away, how would they want to say goodbye? What about clothes, music, speakers? Burial or cremation? End the difficult conversation with a big hug, take a deep breath together, and start doing something cozy.
Online Services for Longevity
Even if you don’t live close to your parents, you can help them by arranging things for them online. This can range from submitting bills for dental work to weekly grocery deliveries. If they are not strapped for cash, try to convince them to make their lives a little easier by hiring a gardener, window washer, or household help. This will give you time to talk quietly and arrange more personal things.
If you have a neighbor who helps out often or an unpaid caregiver, send flowers or a gift once in a while to show your appreciation.
Do you recognize such circumstances, and do you have trouble staying upright? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!