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Caring For Your Elderly Loved Ones

The majority of us owe a lot to our parents and grandparents. After all, they raised us, helped us make our way through life and supported us at all times. They may have made the odd mistake here and there, but they’re only human. At the end of the day, they always made sure we were safe and as happy as possible. When we grow up, it’s easy to lose touch with how they’re actually doing. We become so wrapped up in our own business. Advancing our careers, supporting our partners and maybe even raising families of our own.
When we do see our elderly loved ones they may seem fine. But it’s always important to make sure that they’re actually coping well. As people age, their body becomes frailer and they may find that they’re not quite capable of doing everything that they used to. There’s also the sad reality that they will begin to lose many of their loved ones. Their parents, their friends, partners and old colleagues. Becoming old can actually prove to be a lonely experience. When we do catch up with them, many will put on a face or a front to make themselves seem much more confident and capable than they might actually be. So, to ensure that your elderly loved ones are truly happy, safe and well, you may have to put in a little extra effort. They’ve looked out for you for your entire life. Now it’s time for you to take a little extra care of them. Here are the best ways to go about it.

Expect a Little Resistance

These individuals are used to looking out for you. The change of roles and hand over of responsibilities is going to feel a little alien to them. Some will worry that they are losing their authority or independence and will resist any of your attempts to help them. Others will worry that they are becoming a burden and are causing trouble in your life and will try to avoid doing so at all costs. Comfort them in the knowledge that you are looking out for them because you want to, not because you have to. It’s best to take baby steps to make them more comfortable with the arrangements. Start visiting more often. Pop in for a drink and a chat. Invite them to your place for dinner. These are all small commitments that will boost their happiness massively.

Do Not Be Patronising

This is essential. Do not be patronising or make the elderly in your life feel mothered or mollycoddled. Remember that they are adults at the end of the day. They know what they are doing and probably have a lot more life experience than you do. Remember that. Your aim is to ensure that they are comfortable, happy and maintain as much of their independence as possible.

Help With Appointments
The older you get, the more regularly you’ll find yourself visiting the doctor’s surgery. Older people are more likely to experience health problems and discomfort than the young and it’s always better to be safe than sorry and have complaints checked out as soon as they arise. But it can be difficult getting to and from appointments when you no longer drive, don’t fancy sitting on cramped public transport and don’t have the energy to walk long distances any more. Make sure that you help your family or friend out with transport whenever you can. Dropping them to a doctor’s appointment and back home will only take a small amount of time out of your day, but will save them hours in getting about on the bus or walking. Help out with other things too. If they want to go see a friend or head to an exhibition or event, offer your services. This will also ensure that they maintain a busy social calendar. They’re less likely to stay in feeling lonely or bored.

Maintain Their Independence

Living alone or with a fellow ageing, partner can prove increasingly difficult as time goes on. Your loved ones may find that they have difficulty getting about or keeping on top of the housework in larger properties. This doesn’t mean that they necessarily want to move out of their home though. They may have lived in the same building for years on end. The building and space itself will hold tremendous sentimental value. They will have forged all sorts of memories there over the years. So, it’s not surprising that many will not want to give their homes up. This is fine and there are ways to work around this. The main option is assisted living. Assisted living entails a care worker checking in on your loved ones regularly and helping them out with any day to day tasks or issues that they may face. These carers can give assistance with their medication, ensuring that hygiene within the home is brilliant, helping individuals to get dressed or wash and cooking or taking care of their bills. If this is something that interests you, carers are simple to find and available at all sorts of times. Take a look at CareGiverConnection’s searchable directory to find caregivers near you.

Consider Care Homes

Some individuals may like to move in with you and your family. This could be workable. However, if you do not have space or time to spend home with them to cater to their needs, it can be a huge pressure and responsibility which could result in an uncomfortable atmosphere in your living space. Others would prefer to maintain more independence and live away. If this is the case, it may be time to consider care homes. Care homes are spaces where the elderly can live while receiving care around the clock. This is a particularly useful option for those who need to take regular medication or have more high maintenance care needs. It ensures that they are always in receipt of the best care possible and never miss tablets. Professional and caring staff will be able to help them with their day to day tasks, such as washing, dressing and getting about. What’s best? Your loved one will be in a community of other individuals in the same position as them. They can make friends, engage in all sorts of activities and find themselves occupied throughout the day. This beats dreaded loneliness and makes sure that they always have something to do rather than sitting in front of the television set all day. You can visit them regularly and check up on their health and wellbeing at all times too. It’s important to find the right care home for your loved one. So make sure to read up on reviews, visit beforehand and have a look around yourself. Make sure that your loved one takes the lead in the process of choosing. After all, they’re the one who will be living there.

Call Regularly

Nowadays, it’s easy to forget to call your family. We’re used to texting, messaging on social media and keeping up with others online. But the older people in your life might not necessarily have these devices or access to the internet. So make sure that you remain in touch through methods that they’re comfortable with and confident in using. Give them a call on their landline! They’ll be glad to hear from you and catch up on all the latest news and events in your life. They’ll also have all sorts to tell you. So pick up the phone, get dialling and have a good natter every now and then.

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