Whether it’s your grandmother or an aging uncle, looking after an elderly person can be both rewarding and challenging. Despite their often fragile health, both physical and mental, we do everything in our power to improve their quality of life and make sure they’re comfortable during their golden years. In that spirit, to help you care for your beloved senior at home, here are some valuable tips you shouldn’t forget to make their life (and yours) easier.
Help Them Stay Active
Looking after an elderly person entails making sure they get at least some physical exercise every day. For the longest time, people believed that painful hips, backs, or knees could only be treated with bed rest. It’s in fact quite the opposite. Staying active helps promote blood flow, joint mobility, and is a natural antidepressant. While those over age 80 won’t be able to run a marathon, low-impact activities such as casual strolls, chair yoga, or clapping to music can help them get their daily dose of exercise.
Understandably, you have your own family and work obligations to attend to, which means you can’t be with them at all times. Nevertheless, make it a point to visit your favorite elder as much as possible, especially if they live nearby. Your presence will often be the highlight of their day, so use this precious to ask about their health, how they feel, what they’ve been thinking about, etc. Don’t hesitate to share some good news of your own, too.
Hire Professional Help
Whether it’s health monitoring, meal preparation, laundry, or general house upkeep, there’s only so much you can do by yourself, and it’s completely normal to bring on extra help. To make sure your beloved senior gets all the help they need, look into hiring a certified at-home caregiver. Alternatively, the Australia-based specialists at Arcare’s nursing care believe that elders who join top-notch assisted living facilities can enjoy a remarkable quality of life. Whatever you decide, be sure to discuss the options with your loved one, conduct thorough research, and compare different providers.
Monitor Their Health
Invariably, elders with chronic conditions or disabilities and who choose to remain at home should always have someone keep an eye on their state of health. With the help of a geriatric care specialist, you can ensure that your senior undergoes a periodic health check, goes to scheduled appointments whenever required, and has their prescription medications filled at all times. If they suffer from a particularly disabling condition and have limited mobility, though, a full-time living assistant or senior care facility may be the safest option for them. Additionally, seniors may require extra dental care and may need services such as teeth polishing by Dentist in Vineland.
Upgrade Their Home
A few residential upgrades and modifications can go a long way in ensuring the comfort, safety, and convenience of your favorite senior. For instance, you could help install a ramp, handrails, bathroom grab bars, and a raised toilet for optimal accessibility. Likewise, help declutter their living space to eliminate tripping or falling hazards, make sure their home is well-lit, and check or install smoke detectors for safety.
Supply Them with Healthy Meals
It goes without saying that elders do not have the freedom to eat whatever they want. Store-bought items and fast-food meals contain potentially harmful additives, which is why they must consume balanced, home-cooked meals as much as possible. In parallel, since some may also have difficulties chewing or swallowing, preparing healthy smoothies, soups, and soft organic foods for them can provide them with all the nutrients they need.
Assist with Finances and Paperwork
Most aging adults naturally suffer from cognitive decline, a condition that often prevents them from managing their own finances and portfolios. Whether or not you’re an expert, offer a helping hand to assist your elder with money matters, questions of insurance, important paperwork, and the like. Chances are, they might not realize that there are pressing things to take care of, so you’ll be doing them a great favor by being proactive and helping them get their affairs in order.
Lastly, while that may be a sensitive topic for some, make sure they have their end-of-life expenses (burial or cremation, memorial service, etc.) sorted out at the earliest. Whether you live in Queensland or California, you’re bound to find a specialized, all-inclusive service to make these arrangements.
All things considered, caring for a beloved senior is a huge responsibility. While you may have lots of questions on how you can help them, hopefully, this guide will have walked you through some of the basics to guarantee the best quality of life possible for your senior relative during their final years. Remember to take care of yourself too, so you can care for them just as well.