The 4 Essentials That Will Help You Take Care Of An Elderly Loved One

0
485

It isn’t easy to start getting old and it takes the care of a family member or friend to make sure that an elderly person is able to live their best life during such a time. There are mobility issues that are very common as well as problems such as dementia. This means that living independently is not an option for the seniors who succumb to these problems.

If you have a friend or family member that needs assistance then it falls on you to be able to provide proper care for them. It is a lot of responsibility and not easy to manage. This is why it’s important to understand how to prepare things to make sure that your life is not overly burdened and your loved one is able to get the most out of your assistance. In this article, we will go over what you need to do from preparing their house to giving them medical alert systems

1 – Make modifications

The biggest obstacle to living independently for your loved one is surely the house they live in. it was not designed for people with mobility issues so there are going to be a lot of challenges if nothing is done to modify it. This doesn’t mean that you have to make a lot of costly and disruptive renovations to create a senior friendly house. However, there are a number of modifications that you can make to address the issue. 

For instance, if there are two floors in the home, there are stairlifts that will allow them access to other floors without the need to walk up a flight. Some are designed for them to sit on a chair and strap in for safety. Others will accommodate a wheelchair if they are immobile. 

The bathroom is generally a point of resistance to mobility, as well. A fall in the shower is very common, unfortunately, so getting a senior friendly tub is a great option. These have high sides with a door that can be opened so they can step into it. Many are equipped with a seat so they can take a shower or bath without the need to stand up on a slippery surface. 

Bidets are ideal for elderly people since it allows them to keep themselves clean without a lot of moving around. They are attached directly to the toilet and will spray water for cleansing removing the need to use toilet paper. 

2 – Create a system

People lead busy lives these days so the logistics of taking care of an elderly loved one needs to be figured out so this can all work. Juggling children, work, responsibilities and then the care of an elderly person can be a huge challenge. 

The first step in calculating the logistics is to make an assessment of their needs. What you need to do to be able to care for them is the biggest factor that will determine how you will organize yourself. Determine if they need help just doing the shopping and having some meals prepared as well as doctor visits and the like. If the care needs to also include taking care of their hygiene then this should be written down as well. 

Once you have a list of everything that they need then you can go about deciding how to organize your life around this, come up with a schedule to make sure that you are able to take care of your other responsibilities while also getting their care taken care of.

You may realize that there is simply going to be too much traveling and think that living with your loved one is the only option. If this is the case then you’ll need to reorganize many other aspects of your life to accommodate this. 

Paying their bills is also part of the system that you need to create. To make life easier on you and them, see about getting power of attorney so you can manage their finances. Setting up automatic payments is going to make things much smoother for you. 

3 – Set realistic goals

There is only so much one person can do. This is why once you have the logistics figured out that you have to also make an assessment of what the goals actually are. It is wise to have a direct conversation with your loved one to be able to understand what their goals are and if they match what you were planning. 

Make sure to communicate what the schedule is going to look like and what you are capable of providing. If it doesn’t match what the goals are of your elderly loved one then there will have to be a middle ground found. 

You both may come to the conclusion that the goals set out are unrealistic to achieve and you will need to have some paid help. It is even possible that you both determine that if the goal is independent living is not looking realistic that an assisted living facility is going to be the best option. 

4 – Take care of yourself

It is very easy to get swept up in your responsibilities of taking care of the elderly person plus all of your others to your family and work that you neglect. It is very important that you set aside some time for yourself so you can manage to do what needs to be done. Without this self care routine you risk burning out and won’t be much help to anybody at that point. 

Take at least a day or part of a day every week to do something that you want to do for yourself. It could be just a few hours to watch a movie or take yourself out to lunch. This will give you the breather needed to recharge the batteries and allow you to keep up the pace. It’s similar to the idea that when you are on a plane and the oxygen mask comes down. You’re supposed to put yours on first so you can then help others put theirs on.