Top Tips for Caring for Elderly Relatives

Top Tips for Caring for Elderly RelativesI put together this quick guide with 9 tips for carting for elderly relatives so they feel safe, happy, loved and at their healthiest.

If we are lucky one day, we will be old. Aging doesn’t seem to be very fun, but when you are the person who is watching your parents age, it’s natural for you to want to step in and help them to get through that process.

Caring for people in your family or in your friendship circles who are more senior than you are is a natural part of life. 

When you were young, they cared for you, and now they are senior you would care for them.

You want to be able to help your family members to live as independently as possible at home. This can be anything from teaching them how to use Netflix if they’ve never used it before, and even teaching them how to use a microwave.

It’s the little things that can make a big difference in somebody’s life. With this in mind, I’m here to share some ways you can care for your elderly relatives.

As you might already know, I write about how to protect your health in a range of my bestselling wellness books.

Plus I also share online health recommendations on my blog – and in my nutritionist recommended online program: The Stop Emotional Eating Course!

So,  I put together this quick guide with some of the things that you can do to care for elderly relatives.

9 Tips for Caring for Elderly Relatives

1. Make sure you communicate.

Before you start caring for an elderly relative you need to care about what they think and how they feel. Nobody wants to have a conversation with their parents about role reversal or how to look after them. Parents want to stay as fit and healthy for as long as possible, but it isn’t always possible to do so. They won’t find it necessarily easy to talk to you about what they need or how they need to be looked after, and nor will they necessarily want you to do it for them. However, needs must. Have a conversation and keep the lines of communication open for both ways because as hard as it will be for them to be cared for, it will also be hard for you to be a carer.

2. Get to know the medications.

If you want to care for somebody who is more senior in your family then you need to know what their medication schedules are. Get to know what they take and when they take it, and get to know whether or not they have repeat prescriptions. If there are a number of medications, organize a pill box to be bought for them. You can then help them to arrange their medication and sort through when they should take each pill. You could even get medication boxes specifically for AM medications and PM medications.

3. Set up a power of attorney.

The legal process of giving somebody authority to make decisions on your behalf is heartbreaking. A frail parent who gives power of attorney to their children is doing so because they know that they will not have the capacity to do it for much longer. It is not easy to make decisions about finances, health or property for an elderly parent, but while they are lucid and have all of their faculties it can help to understand what they want the most.

4. Have a care plan.

Whether you consult professional carers or you consult siblings and other family members, having a family care plan is really going to help you in supporting your elderly relatives. It’s hard for carers to be solely responsible for somebody, especially when you probably have your own life and family to consider. If you have a care plan with the rest of your family, you’ll be able to support your family members and ensure that they are well looked after with input from everybody.

5. Assess your options.

While you may want to support an elderly relative, have you considered your options for additional care help? You might reach a point where you need to help them more while trying to raise your own children and go to work. What are the local options for an in home or out of home carer? Regardless of what they are, you need to research them and figure out whether or not you can afford it for your parents or elderly relatives.

6. Get to know your tech options.

While you are considering options for carriers, think about what technologies you can implement in your elderly relatives home. From alarms if they fall in the bathroom or the kitchen, to emergency alarms in the bedrooms and other areas of the home, these are just the tip of the iceberg for technology that you can rely on. You could consider technology that encourages parents who may live alone or be on steady on their feet to be more independent. These can be GPS trackers that you use in case of those with dementia wandering out of the house, or ring doorbells and chair motion sensors. Some of this can sound quite intrusive but it could literally save their life.

7. Make a plan to keep them social.

Isolation is a big problem among the elderly community, but it doesn’t have to be. If you ensure that they keep active and busy in their old age, they will be able to feel better about their future. Keeping active and busy in old age is not the easiest thing to do, but it is a must. Take the time to take your elderly relatives out shopping, to the local park, and enjoying different things that will make them feel included in life.

8. Look into house adaptations.

Is your elderly relative in a wheelchair? Living independently at home might require a few adjustments, even if a wheelchair is not a factor. Grab rails or even jar openers in the kitchen can be good modifications. Wet rooms and stair lift, bright lighting, Anna working thermostat are all very important things as well.

9. Be prepared for emergencies.

Emergency hospital admissions are stressful, and there are a few useful things that you can do to prepare in case your parents or relatives find themselves on their way to the hospital emergency. Things such as an updated list of medications near the front door, and a copy of their power of attorney to hand will be helpful. 

Reminder: Helping your elderly relatives is a good way to ensure their comfort as they get older. Do what you can to help them in this part of the journey of their life.

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