Seven tips for taking care of elderly

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There comes a time in our lives when the elderly need our help. Roles get reversed, and instead of you getting pampered by your older loved ones, you are expected to help them and take care of their needs. 

While adjusting to new roles might be challenging and, at times, stressful, you have to understand that asking for help and dependence is not easy for the elderly members of your house either. Whether they live with you or in a facility, they will still try to resist total dependence. 

Therefore, when the time for caring for your elderly comes, you have to ensure they get all the help but with respect and dignity. Nothing should be done in a way that impacts their self-esteem and makes them feel like a burden. 

If the elderly members of your family need help, it is better to know the best ways you can do so. 

1. Meet them often 

Sometimes family members feel their loved ones need 24/7 care and medical help in case of an emergency. Therefore, they opt for nursing homes instead of family care. Nursing homes have medical staff on board that can provide immediate assistance to the residents. 

When your elderly live in a nursing home, visit them often. Frequent visits can mean a lot to them, even if you cannot be with them all the time. You will find them looking forward to your visits and spending time with you. 

These visits are the best way to see if your elderly are getting the best help they need. Also, reporting abuse in nursing homes faced by your elderly becomes easier if you keep an eye on the facility, cleanliness, and care provided to your loved ones. If you find bruises, infections, injuries, and deterioration in their health, you must approach the right people for an immediate solution. 

2. Help them with the paperwork

As much as it is important to help the elderly with their current circumstances, ensure they are also making preparations for their future. Discuss what they think about making a will or what they have decided about their power of attorney while they are of sound mind. 

Discussing with your elder about things that come into effect after they are no more is challenging and painful. However, still, you have to gather the courage to do it. Talking about these issues is necessary to ensure your loved one is prepared and has no regrets later. 

3. Spend time with them

Even if the elderly are under home care and you have arranged the most qualified nurses, you still need to spend time with them. No medical staff can replace the need to interact with friends and family. Make sure every member of the house meets and greets the elderly. These small gestures don’t take much of your time, but they make the elderly feel valued and respected. 

The feeling the elderly still have an important place in your life improves their emotional health. Let the kids play in their room and spend time with their grandparents. The elderly feel happy and calm in the company of kids. 

4. Take care of their diet 

When one reaches old age, one cannot eat everything. The elderly have to be very careful about their food choices. Make sure they only eat a healthy diet that does not exhaust their immune system or cause damage to any of their organs. 

Provide them with home-cooked meals containing less oil, salt, and sugar. If you cannot cook for them every day, arrange for a house helper who can do the grocery, cook every day, and provide the elderly with meals on time. Healthy food will help your loved ones live healthy lives and have the energy to fight off diseases.

5. Check if they have enough medication

Most elderly suffer from various age-related and other illnesses. Therefore, they have to take medication at various intervals during the day. Often their medications are so critical for improving the quality of their life that they cannot skip even a single dose. 

Therefore, when it comes to medication, you must stay on your toes and ensure that their prescriptions are refilled before they run out. 

If you have a nurse taking care of the elderly, ask them to inform you when one week’s dose is left. This will give you sufficient time to plan your budget and purchase the medicine. 

6. Make changes in your house

If you are keeping your elderly under house care, you must make sure your house is suitable for them. Your elderly’s reflexes, eyesight, hearing, and comprehension are not as perfect as they used to be. The chances of accidents are more than ever. 

Here are some changes you can make. 

  • Check the lighting in the house and add more lights if needed to make it brighter 
  • Door knobs and handles should be non-slippery
  • Install carpets on the stairs to avoid floor accidents
  • If your elderly use a wheelchair, install a ramp
  • Stairs, showers, and toilets must have handrails
  • Put non-skid mats on the tiled floor, strips in the bathtub and shower, or any slippery area of the house
  • Keep your house clean by removing extra clutter; it can cause them to fall and get an injury
  • Remove rugs with raised edges; they can cause them to stumble or get stuck in the wheels of the walkers
  • Install smoke detectors in the house

7. Provide financial help

When one gets old, money for medication and daily expenses becomes necessary. Even if getting luxuries is no longer a priority, money remains an important requirement in your life. The same goes for your elderly. They might hesitate to talk to you about their financial situation or ask for help. Therefore, you must find a way to know their situation and help them financially. If you think they will refuse your money in cash, try paying for medication, monthly groceries, house help, and so on. The subtler you are in your approach to helping them financially, the more dignified they will feel. 

Conclusion

Taking care of the elderly does not come without challenges. It requires changing your house, adjusting your work and family schedules, and making and remaking your budget. You also need to ensure you don’t hurt the dignity and sentiments of your loved ones. Provide help in a way that they feel valued, important, and respected. 

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