Looking After an Elderly Relative – and What You Can Do

By on November 14, 2019
Elderly relatives

As women over 50, our family is full of older family members. We might find ourselves at a point where we think that an elderly relative might need some additional help. It could be just making sure that someone pops around their place every so often to check they’re fine (and maybe do a quick chore or two), or it may be that they need more round-the-clock care from yourself, other friends and family, or a professional carer.

No matter at what stage your parent, aunt, uncle, or other family members may be at in their lives, there are different ways that you can help them. Some may not seem significant to you but could mean the world to them.

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Home care means independence

Studies have shown that the elderly fear their loss of independence. So staying at home means they get to keep that. Being able to make small decisions, such as when to have a cup of tea and some biscuits, can mean a lot to someone who has spent their life making those decisions themself up to this point.

It could also be that it’s what they want: the vast majority of elderly people are reluctant to leave their homes unless it’s absolutely necessary. If it is medically feasible for them to continue living in their own house, then it may be the best option. That’s because they can stay in a familiar environment in which they’re happy and settled.

You can provide personalized care

Caring within the home shows how specialized care is essential to maintaining someone’s health. You can offer services based on your relative’s needs and preferences.

Home care can be provided by a group of practitioners – including nurses, therapists, social workers, and physicians – who know what kind of care is required. This type of continuity can be critical for someone who is dealing with a long-term, chronic illness.

Taking care of someone in their own home means that you can also eliminate the stressors that are linked to aging. This means you can help extend their lives. It enriches their time in their later years, and those who receive care at home tend to report high satisfaction rates with the services that they receive, as well as with their life overall. Using home care can postpone institutionalization and prevent premature decline – plus, older adults heal faster when they’re at home.

They may need some adaptations

It may be that your elderly family member needs adaptations making to their home. Alternatively, if they are moving into your home, then you may need to compromise with other household members – may be by giving up a room in your home.

The equipment that your relatives may require will help to enhance their quality of life. They may need a specially adapted vehicle or disabled parking spot. They could also be eligible for benefits.

You can ask for help

You will need a break from caring, and respite care can come in many forms. This could include arranging for your relative to attend an activity, or by regularly going to an adult daycare center. Places such as Skylark Senior Care can provide activity programs that serve the social, emotional, and recreational needs of seniors, and can even focus on caring for those with specific conditions.

Looking after a relative comes with benefits

If you’re looking after an elderly relative, there are lots of positives to doing this yourself. You can, for instance, oversee their care in an environment that they already know. You can also spend precious time with them – as can younger members of the family, such as your children.

 

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Looking After an Elderly Relative – and What You Can Do