The care of our elderly loved ones is always very high on our priority list. We want to know they feel cared for and loved. Caring for them can be stressful at times, but it’s much harder for them to be dependent on someone after a full life of being functional adults. To provide them with the best care yet stay respectful, here’s what you might want to do:
Maintain social connections
One of the most important things for good elderly care is frequent socialization. Social interaction is important for every human—they get company and you get to see that everything is okay. Make sure to use your visit to check around and inspect the house for any issues that might warn you of any problems like hygiene or maintenance. While there, also check their pantry and fridge for food, and see if they need help with laundry, mail, or gardening.
The two old people are holding each other while walking together in the park
Keep them moving
For elderly people, staying physically active is very important because exercise keeps them healthy and mentally active as well. Sadly, it’s quite often for elderly people to be isolated and withdraw from many happenings, especially after they lose their spouse or close friends. But involvement is very important and you might want to push them to go out and meet new people. Most communities have a lot of different activities that allow people to go out and do things and stay active.
Ensure they have a good diet
With age, appetite and ability to cook weaken and elderly people might start to neglect their diet. Therefore, it’s very important to ensure they are well-fed and hydrated. The best way to do so is to prepare some meals in advance or try to apply for Meals on Wheels. There are many meal delivery programs out there, and for various prices, they can prepare amazing meals and even accommodate different dietary requirements.
If you’re overly busy with your job and kids or if you live somewhere away from your elderly parents, the best thing might be to hire help. This person can be qualified to help with daily activities, eating, hygiene and housekeeping. For the very old and sick, it’s a great idea to hire support that will be there to help the elderly pass. For instance, when looking up the role of a death doula in Australia, we can see that they can help people with their wills, burial options, and even declutter their house. These assistants can help both the elderly and their families deal with death and its natural processes.
Keep an eye on them
If you know your way around tech, it’s easy to install cameras or motion sensors to keep a more careful watch over your elderly parents (without being disrespectful of their privacy, of course). Getting them a Life Alert system is also a great idea—you just have to convince them to wear it all the time.
Help them with their finances
Caring for elderly parents requires financial changes and choices that will support their health and wellbeing. In many cases, people are eligible for financial support from the government, so make sure to talk to your parents and check together whether they are eligible. Sometimes, elderly people might require some help in managing their finances so you might need to assist them with their accounts, paying bills, and managing savings.
A person is taking daily medicines
Keep track of their therapy and meds
Seniors with even the harshest of health issues can live happy lives thanks to medication, so make sure your loved ones are always properly supplied. If they have to take different medications, they can greatly benefit from a pillbox organizer with labels and different compartments for AM and PM doses and different days of the week. This can prevent confusion and ensure all pills have been properly taken.
Modify their home
As we get older, our homes start revealing many hazards. Some of these can be fixed easily with fast modifications, while others might require more involvement. In general, what you can do to make the daily life of your loved one safer is: install rails and ramps, install grab bars at the toilet and shower, test smoke detectors and CO detectors, check lighting, install auto-nightlights, remove slippery carpets, and putting up non-skid mats, etc. Many elderly can also benefit from anti-scalding devices, especially patients with dementia.
Keep them involved
It’s hard for seniors to feel helpless, so don’t treat them like kids. When it feels like you’re the one making all the choices for them, they might be less willing to accept your help. It’s best to leave some control on them and include them in all the decisions. Communication should be open and honest and you’ll achieve the best safety and comfort for both you and them.
Taking care of your elderly loved one is sad and happy at the same time—it’s sad to watch them age but it’s a wonderful feeling to finally return all the love and care they used to give you in the past. If you follow these tips, you’ll be a perfect guardian for your favorite seniors.