Most of us have elderly relatives that require some support from time to time. You might have a mother or father who cared for you while you were young, and so now you must look after them as much as possible. Care homes are a last resort for most people because they want their loved ones to remain close at hand. With all that in mind, there is some information on this page that should help you to get things right and cover all the bases. You might have to tailor this advice based on the nature of your relative’s condition and how mobile they are at the moment. However, you will provide all the support they require if you follow some of the tips below.
Ensure they’re never left without company
Loneliness is a terrible thing, and it can make older adults feel worthless and sad. For that reason, you should work hard to ensure your loved one is never left without company. Speak to your other family members and create a rota if you think that will help. That way, your relative will know who to call if they want someone to come around for a chat. You should aim to ensure someone is available at all times of the day for the best results. However, that isn’t always possible, and so you just need to make sure a family member can go around to the senior’s house each morning and evening for an hour or so.
Take time to perform some household chores
Lots of older adults struggle to keep their homes clean and tidy because they develop mobility issues that could turn cleaning into a dangerous or painful experience. Don’t make the mistake of letting your loved one feel embarrassed about the condition of their home when they welcome guests. Instead, go to see them at least once each week with all your cleaning products and spend an hour making sure the house is spick and span. Your loved one is going to thank you for taking time to do that, and it’s just one way to show them how much you care. You can also pay for professional cleaners in some instances if your relative is happy to meet new people.
Arrange for modifications to their accommodation
As people mature, there is a reasonable chance they might develop a few disabilities. That could mean you need to install grab rails in the bathroom and make many different modifications to their home. You’d do much the same thing when bringing a new child into the house. Still, it could become an expensive process, and so you need to consider all the options on the table. If your loved one lives in rental accommodation, their landlord might have to cover the costs according to US regulations. In that instance, you just need to contact an ADA certified specialist for more information. You can also get in touch with your local authority if you have any questions or concerns related to your relative’s rights. If you struggle to find the money for modifications on a property owned by your loved one; search online for charities that could offer some assistance.
Encourage them to join social groups
There are lots of different types of social groups seniors can join to remain active and make new friends. Maybe your loved one would like the idea of coffee mornings at a local church or something similar? Use the internet to identify the most suitable organizations, and then get in touch with them for more information. With a bit of luck, you’ll find something that your relative will enjoy, and they’ll feel excited about meeting their new friends a couple of times each week. It’s vital that you don’t let your loved one spend all their time sitting down in front of the television because that is how people can become depressed.
Go for walks and get some fresh air
Spending time in the great outdoors and breathing some fresh air is essential for everyone’s health, not just older adults. However, far too many people who are past retirement age never get to see the countryside and move away from those car engine fumes. Considering that, arrange some days out for the entire family where you will have lots of help when it comes to looking after your relative. Find some of the best walking routes that are suitable for wheelchairs or those with mobility issues, and then surprise your loved one with a trip. National parks are excellent places to visit, but woodland walks in your hometown are just as thrilling for those who haven’t spent much time out of the house recently.
Collect medications and take them to medical appointments
There is a reasonable chance that your elderly relative will need to take lots of medicines and attend multiple medical meetings every month. Help them out by arranging to pick up their prescriptions from the chemist and give them a lift to the doctors. Lots of people past retirement age end up missing appointments because they struggle to get from A to B without assistance. The last thing you want is for someone who isn’t stable on their feet to attempt to use public transport alone. That can become somewhat of a stressful experience for young people, so you can imagine how it must make elderly folks feel.
You should now have a better understanding of what you might have to do when your loved ones reach the twilight of their lives. Use this advice to ensure your elderly relatives never feel like a burden or experience loneliness. In most instances, you just have to make time for the person and let them know the world hasn’t forgotten about them. Of course, some people have complex needs, and others develop conditions like dementia that can turn the situation around. However, if your loved one can still hold a conversation and stay independent without constant pain or danger; you should always avoid care homes until there is no other option on the table. They’re excellent places, but you wouldn’t want to live in one.
Disclosure: This is a contributed post.