Caring for an elderly relative is a heartwarming, but difficult task to take on. It’s never easy to watch your elderly relatives struggle with their everyday routine. It’s particularly tough if you’re now taking care of your own parents. First of all, what you’re doing is an amazing thing, and you should be proud of your efforts. It takes a great deal of courage and selflessness to help your family in this way. Secondly, understand that help is at hand. There are plenty of ways to make this process easier, and we’ll run through some of them now.
Home adjustments – Your first task is to make adjustments and adaptations to the home. When old age kick in, even the most simple tasks become difficult. Getting up and down the stairs, for example, becomes very difficult indeed. Simply getting into bed, or in and out of the shower is an enormous challenge. Your elderly relative needs specific care equipment to help make these tasks easier. In many cases, there is financial support available to help you make these home adaptations.
Mobility – When your elderly relatives are housebound, it’s not only bad for their body, it’s bad for their mind. A healthy routine of mobility and even light exercise is a great way to keep the mind and body fresh. It will boost their mood by getting them out of the house, and into the fresh air. A mobility scooter will really help them escape the house, and give them some independence.
Establish a care routine – Regular routine is crucial when it comes to caring for the elderly. There will be a series of specific medicines and treatments that require daily monitoring. Not only that, but they may require assistance with cooking and cleaning. These activities require an established care routine. Whether it’s regular visits from you or a professional carer, make sure the routine is stable. Sit down with the caregivers and your elderly relative, and discuss a plan. Then stick to it.
Restructure their finances – The care and assistance doesn’t just end with physical and emotional care. At a certain point, you may have to help deal with their finances and assets. This is more likely in cases of dementia, but it’s useful information for any caregiver. It’s often left up to you to manage the cost of care, and deal with any leftover finances.
Keep them social – Much like getting out and about, social situations helps the elderly immensely. The more they can converse with others, the sharper their brain. It also improves their mood, and gives them something to look forward. Help them establish a social circle, and give them regular access to social situations.
Seek support – Last of all, don’t forget about yourself! Caring for an elderly relative (especially a parent) is emotionally and physically draining. There are others like you who can help give advice. You may also qualify for financial support, should you require.
You’re doing a wonderful thing for someone you love, and we hope you’ve found some useful advice here. Let us know if you have any advice of your own.