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Thoughtful Ways to Support Your Elderly Family
Thoughtful Ways to Support Your Elderly Family
Your elderly family members have seen a lot and they deserve to have restful years as senior citizens. They have so much wisdom and tales of the past to share, and it's best to value your loved ones while you have them around. Whether they live on their own or with you and your family, you'll find several ways to make life more comfortable and fun for your elderly family members.
1. Check Up on Them
If you don't live with your elderly loved ones, you should drop in on them now and then to make sure they're receiving enough company. Life can be isolating as you get older, especially if you live alone or cannot drive. Visiting them is a great way to boost your loved one's happiness and encourage them to interact with the world around them.
Receiving adequate support and showing love to other people can boost your physical and mental health. If you want your loved one to stay healthy, visit them now and then. Take them out into the world. Let them do activities they want to do. Seeing the smile on their face will be worth it.
2. Look for Support
Both you and your loved one need support in some way. If caring for your loved one is difficult for you, you may need to consider hiring outside help to assist your elderly family member with their schedule when you cannot. If your loved one is open to the idea of having a helper around, it might be a worthwhile investment to help you take care of yourself and avoid caregiver burnout.
You may also consider looking into a support group that can help you better manage your responsibilities as a caregiver or a family member of an elderly loved one. Your support group can advise how to deal with tricky situations and take care of yourself while managing someone else's schedule. You may have a great personal support group, but finding one specifically for caretakers of older individuals can help you feel truly understood.
3. Work Around Their Schedule
You might be used to your schedule, but your loved one might have a completely different schedule. If you want to call or visit them, make sure it falls in line with the time they're awake. Older folks may need to prioritize rest, so they could have an earlier bedtime than you might.
Abiding by their schedule will help them feel no interruptions and keep them on routine. Even if you can't work around their schedule, they may be willing to make an exception for you.
4. Be Understanding
Depending on your loved one's diagnosis, they may require a little more patience from you. People diagnosed with dementia tend to wander more or get agitated with little things more easily, which can be stressful for family members who want the best for their elderly loved ones.
It might be challenging, but you can turn to experts for advice and try to implement as many strategies as you can to help both you and your loved one feel at ease.
5. Keep an Eye Out
One of the best things you can do for your elderly loved one is to keep an eye on their health. You should have an eagle eye for things like how they drive and if they encounter issues, their living environment and how it contributes to their health, what kind of food they eat, and more.
Keeping an eye on their lifestyle will let you see which areas of their life they need help with, if any. You might be able to stop a problem before it starts by just paying attention.
6. Clean Their Space
As you get older, you may not be able to clean as effectively anymore. Still, the benefits of living in a tidy environment far outweigh the effort of cleaning it. Living and working in a clean, organized space can lead to building other good habits that can improve a person's life, like eating right.
Make cleaning a priority so your loved one can thrive in their space. If you can't do it yourself, consider hiring outside help to come in and clean regularly. Your loved one's health matters.
7. Let Them Advocate for Themselves
Though your loved one might be getting older and their mind might not be as sharp as it once was, they can still advocate for themselves. Ask them to speak up and use their voice for their betterment.
What do they want to do? What do they want your help with? Involving them in the choices that will affect their life will help them feel a bit of autonomy and show that they still have control over their life as a whole.
Put Your Loved One First
The most important thing to remember is that everything you do for your loved one should benefit them in some way. You must put their schedule first and ensure all forms of their care work for their betterment.
Your loved one deserves the best care they can get, but take care of yourself, too. Caregiver burnout is a real thing and it will happen whether your loved one requires a lot of care or only a little. Work together on a plan that benefits both of you, and you'll be able to fill in the gaps along the way.