Caring for the elderly is an essential part of family life for most people. When you were young, your parents cared for you, and when you got older, you knew that it was time to return the favor. This works out well for most families. However, there might come a time when care needs increase, and you feel that you are overwhelmed.
Tips for Handling Increased Care Needs for Senior Family Members
Here are some ideas that you can follow on caring and making elderly happy:
Power of Attorney
Probably one of the first things you should obtain a Power of Attorney for one of your family members. It’s best to have one for financial dealings and the other for your senior loved one’s health care. You never know when the unexpected might happen, so you should have already discussed this with your loved one and of course, an attorney.
Everyone Needs a Break
You should discuss with other family members when you feel overwhelmed with the responsibilities of taking care of your elderly loved one. Let’s face it. Everyone needs some off time. If you feel burnt out, you’ve got to share the caregiving responsibilities with other family members.
Give Them Privacy
When care needs increase for senior family members, you will need to spend more time with them. That means they are slowly starting to lose some of their independence. However, you need to continue to respect their privacy as much as you can.
It is extremely important that you ensure that older relatives fulfill their entire nutritional needs every day. Since they can be very susceptible and susceptible to disease, a healthy diet is paramount to make sure they are as healthy and happy as possible. First, every diet should contain little fat and salt. Both dietary substances can slow the recovery from a disease when consumed in large quantities. Focus on making sure that the person gets plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables to provide essential vitamins and minerals for tissue regeneration, as well as lots of fiber to make sure the gut is working regularly.
Help Them Do Exercises
A senior may not be physically able to exercise daily, but if you do twenty minutes of gentle exercise two or three times a week, they will become infinitely healthier. Shopping can be considered as an exercise when he or she walks around in the supermarket. Other similar activities that bring the individual out of the house, such as walking a dog or gardening, also exercise and can improve health in the long run. These activities will extend all joints and relieve stiffness and immobility. It also improves overall health, because it lets the juices flow!
Assisted living care is probably the best alternative for families when care needs become unbearable. You have professionals who look after your loved one, but they remain in the home type of settings. They get to keep most of their privacy and can keep as much of their possessions as they can comfortably fit into their living space.
Nursing Home Care
Eventually, the time might come when continuous medical assistance is needed. That a nursing home could be your only option. Nearly all of the regulated nursing homes provide top-notch medical care, so your loved one should be in trustworthy hands. As a matter of fact, most families consider assisted living facilities a second home for their loved one.
Ensure safety at home
You need to follow these procedures to ensure safety for your elderly family members at home. Make sure that your house is absolutely safe for elderly people and there are no risks of sudden, untoward accidents. There should not be any toys or furniture lying around the house, which can cause difficulty to elderly people moving around. There should also be no loose rugs on the floor that can cause elderly people to slip and fall. If possible, install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors at home. If you find that the lamp cords or other wires in your house have become rather messy, tuck them securely against the dashboard or tie them up, so that people do not have the risk of tripping over them.
Elderly people are often the victims of slip and fall in the bathroom. For the sake of safety, put non-skid pads in the bathtub, in the bathing area or in front of the bathroom. This will minimize the risk of accidents to a considerable extent. If your bathroom rugs are made of linoleum, tack them to the floor with a fastener.
Have night lamps in your house, especially in the rooms where elderly people sleep and/or in the hallway adjacent to their rooms so that they can easily make their way to the bathroom during the night. You should ideally have night lamps in the kitchen and the living area as well. Provide them with easy access to a telephone, so that they can make calls in case an emergency arises. The best idea is to provide them with a cell phone with all the important contact numbers stored in it. You also need to make sure that there is someone in the house all the time to take care of the elderly people.
Value their emotions
Gentleness and affection are the two of the best medicines for an elderly person. Be kind and considerate towards the elderly, to let them know that you really care about their well-being. It is very important to make the elderly people realize that you are there for supporting them at all times.
Listen to them carefully
Keep in mind that your elders have much more experience and knowledge than you. They have acquired a great deal of wisdom over the course of their lives and can have many interesting things to share.
Be soft, polite, and gentle to them. Never be too loud or harsh to them. While talking to them stand close to them so that your voice sounds clear.
Keep a watchful eye on the medication that is being taken by them. Such close attention would also bring down the chances of accidental medicine overdoses and other such related risks. Proper care for the elderly at home also requires you to keep life-saving emergency supplies, like oxygen masks, saline bottles and first-aid kits, present at home.
By using some of the tips in this article, you should be able to have a positive experience assisting your elderly loved one. Taking care of senior citizens can be stressful, challenging, and time-consuming, but it can also be a fantastic rewarding experience for everyone.