Are you concerned about how to provide the best possible care to your older loved ones? Do you fear their lifestyle might lead them to health issues more rapidly? Or do you feel your efforts aren’t good enough for their physical, psychological, and emotional well-being? We can help you in your struggles.
Aging is a harsh reality of life everyone needs to accept sooner or later. Almost everyone has an older family member at home, be it a parent or a grandparent. These days, when earning a living has become a competition, sparing time and caring for an older loved one may seem challenging. Besides, aging populations are not just a challenge for the government or health professionals, but it highly affects the older adult and the remaining family.
However, consistent care can keep your loved ones healthy for a long time. They don’t need only medications or treatments to stay healthy. Instead, they need your presence, care, love, and a few lifestyle changes to live out healthily. Keep reading to find helpful tips to ensure your older family members age comfortably, sprightly, and independently.
Look for financial assistance
Caring for older loved ones can put you under a financial burden over time. The expenses related to chronic illness may add up over time. Thus, it is crucial to be careful with finances from the very start.
A feasible way to manage the financial burden is to look for governmental support aids and private benefits programs. For example, if your loved ones receive a pension, you can ask their permission to use it and manage expenses. War veterans and retired construction workers who develop mesothelioma are eligible for treatment money from asbestos trust funds. Many law firms like Sokolove Law help victims get compensation benefits through a settlement claim. The fund amount varies depending upon the severity of your loved one’s illness. If your older loved one has such a condition, contact the lawyers timely and get the financial aid you need.
Keep a check on their well-being
Calling your older loved ones and asking how they are doing is a good option for checking up on them. But, older adults are usually hesitant and hide their feelings, illnesses, and other things from their children. You must listen to them carefully and assess conversational cues to understand their condition.
A better way to check their health and well-being is by visiting them often. Visiting them will reassure you they are safe and doing well. Communicate with them mindfully about any health-related issues, finances, or end-of-life care. Moreover, assess the condition of their home in terms of cleanliness and do the necessary fixes. Also, check little things like their mails, do laundry, water plants, and most importantly, food supply. This will give them a sense of reassurance that they are loved and fulfill their belongingness needs.
Looking for helpers
You may need to hire helpers to look after your older loved ones at a certain point. When you do so, don’t feel guilt or shame about not being able to look for your loved ones yourself. Various reasons like your retirement, children, hectic schedules, etc., may hinder you from looking after them. So, it is better to provide them with a helper who can watch over them round the clock rather than providing incomplete care.
You can either hire a full-time helper or a part-timer. They may help your loved ones with daily chores like cooking, cleaning, bathing, and other housekeeping chores. If you can’t find someone you know for this purpose, hire one through an agency. Hiring a paid helper will ensure the complete care, safety, security, and well-being of your loved one. Enrolling them in an adult day program will also help them socialize.
Modify your home
The immune systems of older adults grow weak as they age. Even a minor injury or infection may take longer to heal and sometimes result in life-threatening consequences. Thus, it is crucial to make modifications to the home to ensure their safety and make all the essentials accessible for them. Managing to work alone will give the older adults a sense of independence that is vital for their well-being. A few modifications you can make are listed below:
- Allocate them a room near the kitchen and keep essentials like water and medicines in their reach
- Install a raised toilet and ramp for wheelchairs
- Install bright lights in the home and a few auto-sensory nightlights so they can see easily
- Remove cables and cords from the floor and any rugs or mats that might catch on walking canes
- Check for smoke detectors and CO detectors
Make use of technology
There are several ways you can use technology to your benefit when looking after an older family member. If your loved one lives alone, you can install a camera or alternatives like a motion sensor to monitor their activities and movements. This will provide you with information about trips and falls, which they may otherwise consider trivial and hide from you. Be sure to save your number in speed dial and teach them how to use it.
If your loved ones prefer independent self-care, buy them a smartwatch to help them track their pulse rate and set medication alarms. If your older family members are fun-loving, install a gaming system with time restrictions so they won’t be bored alone. Moreover, you can also use innovative tech systems like intuition robotics, ageless innovation, etc., to help them lead healthier lives.
Keep them active and healthy
Older people don’t have the energy and desire to cook for themselves. Instead, they may rely on processed foods or stay hungry for longer. This may lead them to malnutrition. Thus, ensuring they are supplied with healthy and nutritious meals regularly is crucial. If you can’t find time to cook for them regularly, cook some meals in advance.
Moreover, several assisted meal services are available these days, so check out if your loved one qualifies for one. The second most important thing for your loved ones is physical activity. Staying physically active can do wonders for their health. Spare some time for exercising with them or take them for a brisk walk. They will be more motivated to do it when you do it together with them.
Taking care of older family members is not an easy task. Adjusting your life according to their needs can be hard for you and them. Their mood swings and age-related issues like vision loss may pose hurdles in ensuring complete care for them. Yet, it’s not impossible. You must think of ways to accommodate your life with them. Without your love, care, and support, they may age rapidly and become prone to health-related issues. This article mentions a few tips to help you provide good care and overcome hurdles. These include overcoming financial hurdles, regularly checking up on their well-being, hiring helpers, using tech tools, etc. Following these tips will help your older family members enjoy a long and healthy life with you.