If you have elderly parents at home, you’ll know that caring for them can be a full-time job. As we start to age, our body loses much of its vitality, and we can instead start to experience difficulty doing even the simplest tasks. Elderly individuals can face difficulties not just in mobility but also in their mental capabilities. Caring for elderly family members can thus be pretty challenging if you have a regular job and other responsibilities to take care of too.
There can be dozens of different factors you need to consider, and skipping out on any small thing can be disastrous. However, it doesn’t all have to be difficult. There are several ways you can make taking care of your elderly family members much easier. If you’re interested in learning more, keep reading below.
1. Try Out Nursing Homes
A nursing home may seem like a drastic option, but it can often be the best way to ensure your elderly loved ones get the care they deserve. With regular jobs and other responsibilities, you may not have the time or energy to give your elderly loved ones the care they need. This lack of availability isn’t just emotionally damaging, however – it can lead to long-term health consequences too. Nursing homes, on the other hand, ensure that your elderly loved ones get around-the-clock care and attention.
However, it’s important to exercise caution when you check your elders into a nursing home. Although these are generally safe spaces, at times, they can become incredibly toxic and dangerous too. Nursing home residents are incredibly vulnerable and can be subject to abuse and discrimination at the hands of the attendants. Neglect is one of the most common forms of nursing home abuse and can cause emotional and physical distress. If you feel like your elderly loved ones are being neglected, get in touch with a nursing home neglect lawyer who can advise you best on the next steps to take.
2. Ensure That You Have Helpers
If you choose to care for your elderly loved ones at home, make sure you have enough help. If your elderly family members don’t have any specific impairments, you might not need any additional help at all. However, depending on the severity of the impairment, you might sometimes need to have people step in. For mild to moderate impairment, you can have someone, such as a neighbor or a family member, step in for a few hours or whenever you’re swamped.
However, if your loved ones have a significant level of impairment, you might need to enlist continuous help. A nurse is then the best option and a nurse can ensure that your loved one’s emotional and physical needs are consistently met. Apart from providing mobility-related support, they can monitor your loved one’s health symptoms and ensure that they get prompt attention if anything goes wrong.
3. Make Sure Their Emotional Needs Are Met
Apart from physical needs, if you want to ensure that your elderly loved ones are happy and thriving, it’s vital to ensure that their emotional needs are met too. Unfortunately, this is an aspect that often goes neglected in geriatric care and thus leads to immense unhappiness. Aging can be incredibly challenging mentally, and elderly individuals can go through a range of challenging situations that can leave them feeling isolated and anxious.
Children moving away, friends and family members passing away, and drawing closer to one’s own twilight years can be challenging realities to face. Moreover, as we grow older, we can start becoming increasingly isolated. Research suggests that depression can start becoming increasingly common as we grow older and start experiencing increased loneliness. Taking time out a few days a week to meet up with your older family members can make a world of difference and can help them feel connected to you.
4. Leverage Technology
Technological advancements have revolutionized almost every aspect of our everyday lives, and healthcare is no exception. In fact, some of the most groundbreaking technological advancements have come through for healthcare services. If you want to stay on top of your elderly family member’s health needs, tech tools can be your new best friend.
There are several trackers and MedTech tools you can use to your advantage. These tools can help you track blood sugar levels, heart rate, medications, and more. Additionally, medical applications can help you stay connected to your healthcare provider at all times. You can upload results, tests, and other relevant documents to the app and get instant feedback from your doctor.
5. Focus On Their Dietary Needs
When we think of dietary needs, we generally approach it from a fitness perspective. However, considering dietary needs can be exceptionally important for the elderly, and an unbalanced diet can cause a range of issues. If you want to take care of your elderly loved ones, it’s important to ensure they have a healthy, balanced diet based on their specific health needs.
Curating such a diet can be a challenge for yourself. Elderly people can have a range of very specific dietary needs and limitations, and failing to follow them can bring immense drawbacks.
6. Make Sure They Get Some Exercise
One of the greatest – and most harmful – misconceptions about aging is that as we age, we need to start becoming less active. Of course, our bones and muscles tend to weaken as we age, and we might start experiencing reduced mobility. However, this makes it even more important to ensure that we’re always staying active so that we can maintain our strength and agility.
Getting some light exercise each day, be it through running, hiking, jogging, swimming, or even lifting light weights, can help older people maintain their independence. If you want to be on the safer side, you can get in touch with a personal trainer with experience working with older populations.
Taking care of the elderly can seem like a huge task, and it’s only natural to want to be as safe as possible. These tips can help you figure out how you can ensure that your elderly family members are well taken care of and healthy and happy. By making these small adjustments, you can look out for your family members even as they enter their twilight years.