Tips For Taking Care of Your Elderly Loved Ones
While the realities of aging do not affect healthcare providers and policymakers, it takes a toll on individuals and their families. However, these challenges make it essential to provide older adults with the love, care, and support they need. Despite this, families still struggle to figure it out, which affects their family life. Of course, you would not feel the effects if your aging loved ones can live independently. However, what do you do when the effects of aging become more evident? Here are a few tips to keep in mind for taking care of your senior loved ones.
Keep them active
Older people usually feel alone and excluded due to their ages and the effects of the aging stage. In many older adults, isolation is the leading cause of mental and emotional distress. So try to keep them involved with the family as often as possible. You can do this by calling to check up on them often or visiting them frequently to catch up and spend quality time together. You should also ensure they are active by encouraging them to be more involved in their communities to help them socialize.
Make changes to the home
With aging comes a few restrictions. Apart from an array of health issues, your elderly loved ones may also suffer from mobility issues. This may mean that various home components may be safety hazards and increase the risks of an accident. To avoid this, be sure to modify the home to make it a safe environment for them. If your loved one uses a walker or a wheelchair, it is advisable to install a ramp. You should also consider removing small rugs and tucking away cables to avoid trips and falls, create clear walking passages by removing clutter, inspect smoke detectors, and ensure that the overall lighting of the home is clean and bright. Be sure to install handrails in the bathroom and grab bars at the toilet and in the bath and shower. You should also install a raised toilet.
If you are concerned with your parents falling at home there are alarm devices that can be worn that can be pressed in an emergency. These devices are much more simple than carrying a mobile phone because in the event of a fall an older person often becomes confused.
There is so much to know about when taking care of an aging adult, from government policies to the latest technological developments concerning elder care. Being educated on issues associated with the elderly puts you in a better position to provide better care. You gain the necessary information by reading credible online sources from government institutions, community-based, or independent researchers. You should also consider educating yourself on elderly care to further your knowledge and ability to provide your loved ones with the care they need.
Taking care of an elderly loved one is a full-time job, and it may not always be so easy for you to stay true to your responsibilities. In between taking care of your aging loved one and taking care of yourself and your family, you may be overwhelmed and stressed out, which could affect the quality of care you give. To avoid this, it is advisable to hire the help of a helper, an aide, or a caretaker. This could be a trusted friend or family member.
However, if you cannot find someone you know, you should hire such services through a licensed agency. Caretakers assist your loved ones in carrying out their daily activities, such as grocery shopping, driving them around, running errands, and housekeeping. Although these services may be expensive as a nominal fee is usually required, it is an excellent investment worth making. You may also hire a nurse with a CCNE accredited online MSN programs degree to ensure their optimum health.
Have honest conversations
At this point in your relationship with your loved one, there are some tough conversations you would need to have. It is essential that these conversations are not avoided but instead are discussed honestly. Talk about their finances and help them make the right decisions concerning any issues they may be facing. You would also need to talk about “awkward” end-of-life care choices. It is advisable to talk about their preferred living arrangements. Many older adults would prefer to stay at home (aging at home) or stay with a relative. Others may prefer staying in independent living communities to be part of a community of older adults or staying in assisted living communities or nursing homes.
Although aging is inevitable, it creates a new stage in life for both the aging adult and the family. However, with these tips, you can ease these challenges and ensure your loved one is well cared for.