Since it is such a difficult task, you may want to interview an elder care specialist to guide you through this process. It is important to make sure that your loved one is in good hands and they are getting the best care possible.
The caring of an elderly relative can be daunting but it doesn't have to be if you take into account these steps:
Make Sure They Understand What's Expected of Them
One of the most important things you must do as a family caregiver is to make sure your elderly relatives understand what is expected of them. This includes making sure that they take their medications as prescribed, that they're aware of upcoming medical appointments, and that they’re honest and open about their health.
|Photo credit: Forbes Health.|
Make Sure They Feel Like They're Supported
Many elderly are faced with challenges as they age that they have not faced before. These transitions can be scary and confusing for most. It’s important that as a caregiver you help ease their burden by supporting them through these different stages.
Offering assistance with medical care or general daily duties can make a big difference in their daily lives. It is also important for them to understand that you are available to talk about their challenges or provide additional resources that can help them when you are unsure of what to do.
Keep Them Safe and Secure
It is important for the elderly to keep their environment safe and secure, especially if they are homebound. There are different ways that people can do this. Some examples include installing an alarm system, getting an elder care aide, alerting the neighbors, and having a panic button nearby.
Stay Calm During Disagreements
Staying calm during a disagreement is a key skill that can keep a family together and avoid unnecessary drama. This is especially important if you're dealing with an older relative who might struggle with communication and social cues due to dementia or other health issues.
Being open, honest, but fair during disagreements while also allowing the other party to voice their opinion and thoughts will lead to better outcomes than refusing to hear the other’s point of view.
|Photo credit: SHVETS on Pexels.|
Give Them Company
Elderly people often get lonely and need company due to physical and mental health issues. However, finding the time to spend 24/7 with them can be difficult. This is where other family members can come into play or different services such as respite or adult day cares.
Providing your elderly relatives with different options such as staying at home but having an aide visit them daily for a few hours or allowing them to experience an adult day care center a few times a week can meet their socialization needs.
Ensure Their Needs are Being Met
It can be difficult to understand what our elderly relatives' needs are and how you can meet them. Focus on the basics of hygiene, food, and shelter. Ensuring that their home is up to par, they have adequate food and water or a service that provides this to them such as Meals on Wheels, and are sustaining appropriate hygiene is key.
If they require assistance in these fields but you are unable to meet them due to your own family or work duties then obtaining the appropriate resources are necessary.
|Shin Min Ah and Kim Young Ok in Hometown Cha Cha Cha (2021).|
Utilizes Resources as Needed
Resources that your family members need can include home health aids for simple activity of daily living assistance such as bathing and meal prep. They may also require the need for someone to sit with them while you are away to ensure their safety. These types of services can be found through respite care.
If your family member is at the end of their life and requires support and care through the transition then hospice services may be appropriate. Hospice of Northern VA suggests speaking with your family member’s doctor to determine appropriateness and if deemed appropriate, a hospice consult can be placed to move forward.
Caring for an Elderly Relative
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