Caring for an elderly person can be daunting and difficult. There are many things that you can do to make the task easier for your loved one and you.
It is important to identify their needs. It is a good idea to make a list with care tasks your older loved one might need.
Spend Time with Them
As a caregiver, spending time with your elderly loved ones is a great thing. Not only does it help them feel comfortable, but it also provides you with an opportunity to check in on their condition and care level from an in-person perspective.
The best way to do this is to take your loved ones out for a visit every now and then. Not only will you get to see them, but you’ll also be able to spend quality time with them and make memories together!
You can take sightseeing trips to new places or simply to a nearby park to get some exercise. It can be a fun experience for all of you to visit a new place together. This will help keep your mind active and stimulate your imagination.
Another fun activity to do with your elderly loved one is learning a new game or puzzle. You can teach it and they can learn it together or they may have a favorite game from the past.
Older people can be very creative, and spending time putting their talents to use is a great way to keep them entertained and engaged. It doesn’t matter if you are a painter, a sculptor, or a jeweler, learning new skills is incredibly beneficial for staying active and mentally stimulated.
Getting older can be a challenge for anyone, but for the elderly, it’s particularly difficult to stay physically and mentally active. To avoid stress and fatigue, you may need to modify the activities you do with loved ones. However, a walk around the neighborhood or a light workout can make an enormous difference.
It’s also a great idea to encourage your elderly parent to participate in their current exercise class. It doesn’t matter if they are a fan of strength training, yoga, tai-chi, aerobics or yoga, taking them to their regular classes can help keep them healthy and happy.
Ask your elderly parent if he or she would like to play with their pets, or have a friend or family member visit them. Having young children or pets around will often help seniors perks up and relax, which is another great way to improve their emotional health and reduce stress levels.
Offer assistance when needed
The best way to care for the elderly is to offer help when needed. It’s a simple way for them to feel valued and to take responsibility.
It’s also a good idea to ask your loved ones how they would like their help to be provided. They may prefer to remain at home or they might need living assistance from a professional.
If your elderly loved one lives at home, be sure to make their living space safe and accessible. Eliminate any obstacles that could pose a fall danger, such as cluttered furniture or tripping hazards.
Keep medicine and other medical supplies in easy-to-reach places. To make sure your loved one can take the medication they need, prepare pillboxes.
It is important to keep in touch with your elderly loved ones if they have questions or concerns about their medical care. This can help them feel more comfortable with you as their caregiver and ensure they receive the necessary support to maintain good health.
If your loved one is having trouble remembering to take their medication on a regular basis, let them know that you are available to drive or pick them up from their doctor’s appointment.
Working with your loved one to develop a care plan that is tailored to their needs is another great way to offer support. This will allow them to control the amount of help they need and when they want it, while ensuring that your own well-being is not put at risk.
Talk to your loved one and their closest friends if you are having trouble deciding how much assistance is necessary. They will tell you what would make the biggest impact on their lives, and help you decide how to best offer it.
Last but not least, make sure you give your loved one enough space and time to rest and recover when they need it. This will ensure they are happy and healthy.
Participate in their Care Decisions
It is important to involve the elderly in your care decisions. This will ensure that they get the right amount of help and that you are aware of their care needs at all times.
Elderly people are often reluctant to tell their loved ones about their health problems. It is important to listen to them and ask them questions. They may need your assistance in communicating their concerns to medical professionals.
If your loved one has Alzheimer’s, you should speak with their doctor to discuss what steps can be taken for them to remember their medications and to schedule appointments. You should also accompany them to appointments to ask questions and take notes.
Talking with your loved one about their wishes for their healthcare and well-being is a great way to keep them involved. Then work with them to create legal documents, such as advance directives and durable power of attorney for health care. These documents will give your loved one the power to make decisions for them if they are unable to do so.
Aside from talking with your parent about their wishes, you can also have them make a plan for how they would like to receive care, such as if they want to stay at home or move into an assisted living facility. This will help you to find solutions that best suit your needs.
You can also help loved ones set up a system to manage their medication, appointments, and other care. This could involve preparing pill boxes so that each day’s dose is ready for them to take in their morning. This will help them not forget their medication and prevent them from missing important appointments.
It is important to include your siblings in the decision making process, as well as your loved ones, when you are working with them to create a plan for their care. Siblings may have different opinions about their parents’ health and how to handle their declining condition. It’s important to listen to them.
Take Care of You
Taking care of your loved one is not just about caring for their physical needs, but also about taking care of yourself. If you don’t take time to care for yourself, you’ll have a hard time providing the best possible care for your loved one.
Caregivers are often overworked and exhausted. They spend many hours a week doing household chores and ensuring that their loved one’s medical needs are met. This is an important responsibility that can lead to stress and adverse effects on their health.
It’s also not healthy for caregivers to neglect their own personal needs, which can lead to depression and other emotional and physical problems. To avoid these problems, family members and friends should help their caregivers set goals to achieve a healthier lifestyle.
Make it a priority to get quality sleep, stay physically active and maintain a healthy diet. This can help reduce stress and anxiety associated caregiving and provide long-term health benefits.
It’s not easy to make time for yourself. But it’s essential to do so if your loved one needs it. It’s a good idea to schedule short breaks between tasks. Also, make sure you include time for fun activities.
Sometimes caregivers feel guilty about taking some time for themselves. However, they should be honest with theirself and allow themselves to take the time they need. In doing so, they’ll have the energy they need to care for their loved one and give them the quality care that they deserve.
Self-care can include things like meditation, exercise, eating well, putting out positive energy and other forms of relaxation. It can also include making time to connect with family and friends.
If you are a caregiver, make sure to communicate your needs with your loved ones and their healthcare team. They can help determine how much and how often they require care, as well as whether you have the time.
They might ask you to be there for them after a doctor’s visit or to remind them to take their medication at the same time each day. They might also require emotional support or assistance with activities that can be difficult for them like cooking or walking.