A Guide to Caring for Elderly Relatives

Getting older is an inevitable part of life, but it isn’t always easy to transition into your golden years. A lot of senior citizens are still perfectly capable of looking after themselves, whereas others might need more support to continue living a comfortable life.

It’s not just about getting the right type of care, either. Loneliness can be a big issue in the senior community, so having an active social life is equally important to help maintain good mental health. If you have an elderly relative that you’re concerned about, here is a brief guide to how you can help make sure they’re OK.

Keep in Touch

One of the most effective ways to make sure your elderly relatives are safe and happy is by checking in on them. If you live close by, visiting them at home at least once a week is a good way to show them that you care and will give them some companionship, particularly if they live alone.

Inviting them to your house for Sunday lunch, or Friday night dinner can also be a lovely tradition to start with them. If you don’t live near enough to drop in for a cup of coffee, make sure you are calling them at least once a week instead.

If they are tech-savvy, you could even arrange a video chat with them for something a bit closer to a face-to-face conversation.

Make Sure They Are Having Regular Health Checks

This is a smart move for any age group, as you don’t always see symptoms of health issues until the problem has developed into a more advanced stage.

Reminding your senior relatives that they should have an annual health check, and perhaps even taking them to these appointments, is important. This way if any health problems are emerging, they can get them treated sooner rather than later.

Also Read: home depot health check

Help Them with Chores

Whether you live close by or you’re just in town visiting, offering to help them out around the house is also a way you can show your love and appreciation.

It might be something as simple as doing the dishes, or even some DIY work that they can’t manage to do themselves. Even doing some grocery shopping for them or helping them to run some errands one afternoon can make a big difference.

If they are starting to struggle to do these basic tasks each day, you might need to consider assisted living or at-home care options to keep them safe.

Assist with Financial Management

Another way you can help your senior relatives is by assisting them with managing their finances. Whether it’s setting up direct debits for their household bills, or even teaching them how to recognize signs of a scam, you’ll all have peace of mind that their finances are protected and they aren’t falling into unnecessary debt.

However, discussing finances with your elderly relatives can be a sensitive subject. Look at these tips to better understand how to approach them about this if you have any concerns.

Explore Care Options

As mentioned previously, there might come a point where your senior relatives require some professional care, rather than just you helping them out.

It’s important to explore the different care options available, and understanding which one is right for the needs of your relative. Retirement communities are better for seniors who are still capable of managing daily tasks independently but perhaps are looking for a better social life.

Some of these places can also offer assisted living if they need that at a later stage, but you might have to relocate them to a specific facility if not. 

Assisted living is, as the name suggests, is where residents have carers helping them with things like bathing, grooming, getting dressed, household chores, and meal preparation. They will also assist with any medication management that residents need. 

Nursing homes are different from the above as they cater to those who have specific healthcare needs. Professional nurses will be on-site 24/7 to help carry out treatments and medication management.

Doctors from local healthcare centers also visit nursing homes to carry out health checks and assist with care. 

Memory Care is for people who are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. Patients with these conditions require a very specific type of care, and living in these homes can help to make sure they are safe and getting the support that they need.

There are memory care day centers as well, so if you’re relative isn’t ready to move into a residential home, or you have arranged for them to live with you, weekly visits to these centers might be a better option.

You can find out more about this type of care at this specialist home for memory care Brick NJ.

Another option if your senior relative is uncomfortable with moving into a residential care facility is getting a carer to come and visit with them at home instead.

Carers can come and check in on them daily, and offer assistance around the house, running errands, etc. If there is a specific healthcare need, a qualified nurse will also have to come and visit them at home as well.

You can even hire live-in carers if your senior relative needs around-the-clock help. 

Finally, you can always consider moving your relative in with you if this is your preferred option. While this is a very noble thing to do, you must take the time to carefully consider if this is the right option for everybody.

You may have to make some modifications to your home to accommodate the needs of your relative, as well as provide them with enough space to still have some privacy.

If you live with a partner or children, you should also discuss this with them to make sure everybody is comfortable with this arrangement as it will affect their lifestyle as well. 

It’s important to make sure the senior relatives in your life are taken care of and still feel liked valued members of the family.

Use this brief guide to help you look after your elderly relatives whether it’s just spending time with them at the weekends or organizing more specific care for them.

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