Today we want to talk about things you can do to help the elderly in your family. As we get older we realize how important family is. As we move away from spending all of our time with a lot of friends and peers, we look to spend a lot more time with our family and our loved ones. The holiday season is all about bringing the family together and less going out and getting drunk with friends as when we get older we realise what’s important in life. You don’t need 100 friends when you can have a few close friends that mean a lot to you and quality family time with the important people in your life. Is something we all go through but as we realise how important our family is we want to help and support them in any way we can. When certain members of our family become elderly they normally do need extra support and care. Things can become more difficult for them, they may suffer from different illnesses and they may just not be able to look after themselves like they used to. It also may be a case where a grandparent has died and the other one has been left alone and is struggling to look after themselves without the support of someone else.
Help With Food And Meal Times
As people get older sometimes they struggle with cooking food, chopping and different things as they may struggle or not be strong enough to be able to do them anymore. They also may have memory problems and can simply just forget to eat. In these instances, they’re all different ways you can help. One of the ways which can be a bit costly is by signing up to a meal delivery service where dinners and all meals that they will need will be delivered to their door by someone and plated up for them. As it is a lot of work these things can be quite pricey, but then at least you will know that your elderly relatives are eating properly, getting the right nutrients and being looked after in that sense. If you don’t live in the same area it’s also a great alternative to help them without being physically there.
If you do live in the area then there are other ways that you can help. You could invite them round regularly to your house where they can dine with you, take home the leftovers which they can then simply reheat. It also gives them a chance to spend more time with their grandchildren and family rather than being alone. And just like the service you could also go over to them and cook for them regularly so you know that they’re eating the right foods. If you are not able to go somewhere regularly, they do not want to come out of the house as often to come and visit you, they may be tired and not be able to go out as much. In this instance, you could simply mail prep and book cook them some food which can then be frozen and they can reheat whenever they want to eat this way you know that they get the right foods, it’s home-made and doesn’t have any added nastiness inside. You can also then make sure you cater to any requirements they have like allergies, preferences or if they need to have certain things in their diet to help with their health.
Support With Your Company
As people get older they generally can end up quite alone and feel lonely a lot of the time. It is a difficult time in life where you start to lose your friends and loved ones to old age, illnesses and all different things. It can make them feel very alone and very vulnerable. Having family around and regular interaction and care can make all of the difference. So if you think of them at any point just give them a call and have a catch-up, be sure to visit them often. You can even have a set day each week or every other week that you go to see them. This also then will give them something to look forward to. It is just the simple and basic things of showing you care. Life can get busy and if you don’t actively make time to see your parents and grandparents then sometimes months can go by before you even see them. A good way to think about it is putting yourself in their shoes, when you’re that age do you want people to come and see you often? How would it feel if you were alone so much and potentially struggling?
Look Up Local Groups
As a lot of older people become lonely and struggle to go outside a lot they can end up spending a lot of time inside the house alone. Unless you live with them you can’t go to them every hour of the day as well. So, you can help them by looking up local groups that they can attend. There is something for everyone and you can go based on their interests or simply just find an age compassion group where they meet up for a cup of tea and a chat. In regards to different interests, you may find that they want to join a knitting or craft group if they are creative. If they still have a spring in their step and you think they may want to have a way of keeping active you can see if there are any local elderly exercise groups, like bowls, walking or even something like aqua aerobics.
Take The Step Of Assisted Care
There comes a time when your parents or grandparents get older and they will need to be looked after and monitored on a daily basis. There are lots of reasons for this, it could be that they have an awful disease which means they can no longer take care of themselves or perhaps become confused easily. It could be that they quite simply are just too old and need extra care, it can be confusing to know when to do this but it really is an individual thing. Something drastic may have happened like they forgot they left the oven on or it could be a gradual thing where you are needed more and more and no longer able to meet those needs. When you start looking into this transitional period for them, be sure to do your research and look at the best assisted living facilities in the area. You can then schedule visits and do check to make sure they can accommodate all of their needs and that they can be happy there.
Assess The Financial Situation
Caring for an elderly relative will cost money no matter what the situation. Whether it is paying for assisted living which costs money or if they eventually move in with you as it will be things like food, home safety changes in the home and time for caregiving that you may have to take off work. They may also struggle to manage their own finances and forget to pay bills. So it is a very helpful and beneficial thing to help look after their money. Then you can also use it to pay for things they need. It is also important to look at what they may be able to obtain. Certain government schemes allow elderly people to have free medicare, free public transport travel as well as other support programs for long term care. So you may be able to get the government to get someone to come out to them in their home to help them with basic needs like cooking, bathing and keeping the house tidy.
Do A Risk Assessment In Their Home
If you find they are not at the stage yet where they will be moving out of their home it is a crucial thing to do a check on their home. If they struggle to get up and down the stairs, they may need a stairlift, they may need extra railings dotted around the home to give them extra support when moving about. You can also get safety cords put in the home that they can pull if they have had a fall and can’t get up. This will alert medical professionals and care staff to come to their aid straight away. It will also then give you the comfort of knowing they have extra help if needed. If they are also struggling to reach high or low shelves then you can get extra shelving put in the house where they can easily get to things. This will reduce the risk of more injuries and make life a whole lot easier for them.
There are lots of things that need doing when you are caring for an elderly relative but it is important to care for our loved ones like we would want to be cared for. These are some of the basic ones to start off with.