In Home Care For Elderly
Four Ways You Can Help Loved Ones As They Age
Being the child of an ageing parent can be fraught with difficult decisions and uncomfortable conversations about their healthcare and living situation, and it can be seriously emotionally challenging for all involved. But these people brought us into the world and cared for us when we needed them most.
We know we owe them all the love and support we can offer as they embrace the golden years. Here are four ways you can help loved ones to live happily and as independently as they desire as they age.
1. Be a kind ear
People’s emotional needs differ as they get older, and it’s no surprise that elderly people are more likely than adults to face mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. As they become less mobile they also become more isolated, they encounter loneliness and even bereavement, all of which contribute to mental health problems.
Staying in regular and honest communications with loved ones enable you to address these issues as they arrive, either by offering support yourself or, in more drastic circumstances, referring them for professional help.
2. Check their health measures for worst cases
As people age, their health obviously deteriorates, and older adults have all manner of medication, and other care that needs to be administered on a daily basis, and ensuring that they’re doing this independently is the key to living alone safely. Planning for the future, especially when facing illnesses, enables sufferers to feel reassured, and it can also give you peace of mind.
For example, does your loved one want to stay in their home when they’re no longer able to care for themselves by employing assisted home care services, or would they rather consider senior retirement homes or care facilities? How involved do they expect you to be with their care, and are you able to offer that sort of support? Having these conversations before the time comes means a more practical outcome can be reached, without the heavily loaded emotional connotations.
3. Ensure their home is suitable for their needs
As people age and their mobility becomes compromised their home can suddenly become too much work. Housework can start to take a downturn, and hygiene may suffer as a result. It can be so bad that older people are forced to sleep on their couch instead of in bed as they’re unable to make it up the stairs.
Maintaining regular conversations about their needs enables you to address these problems before they get out of hand. Maybe moving to a smaller, single storey home is possible, or hiring a cleaner, having food delivered, or installing a stairway chair lift – anything to ensure they are able to live comfortably and independently.
4. Be their emergency contact
Finally, knowing that you’re always available if something goes wrong will help them to sleep at night. Even if they live thousands of miles away, being available by telephone can really help to give them peace of mind. Ageing can be a scary time, but knowing that someone you love is always there for you can be really reassuring.