Six Tips for Caring for an Elderly Loved One – Growing old is hard. As our elders grow older and become frailer, they may increasingly need help with the tasks of everyday life. But just because they need more help and may become less capable as they age, it doesn’t mean our parents and other elderly loved ones have any less of a need for a sense of autonomy, independence, and control over their own lives.
The right time to talk about the future is now—even if it’s uncomfortable. Ask your loved one about their wishes, values, and preferences on things that matter, from health to finances.
6 Tips for Caring for your Aging, Elderly Loved One
1. Daily Living Activities
A large portion of caring for the elderly often includes help with daily living activities like bathing or getting dressed. Physical activity and exercise helps keep the heart, muscles, and joints in better shape, and promotes a good night’s sleep, so look for ways to help your loved one stay active as much as his or her condition permits.
2. Medications and Emergency Contacts
Keep your list of medication updated and take it to the doctor regularly. List of contacts should include anyone they would want to be informed if they were in a medical crisis. Potential contacts might include children, family, and friends.
It’s a good idea to keep communication simple, direct, and positive when talking to your dear one, especially if he or she is older or has health problems that could affect memory and cognitive skills. Touch your loved one or hold her hand to encourage conversation. Establish eye contact, and use the person’s name when you speak to them.
4. Encourage your Loved One’s Independence
Empowering your senior to be as independent as they can be all starts with their surroundings. Remember this: the simpler, the better. Decluttering the environment not only makes it safer for your senior to live in their own home, but it gives them a sense of responsibility and independence.
5. Meal Preparation
Providing meal preparation for your loved one is one less thing they need to worry about during the week. it could be an enjoyable bonding experience for the both of you. et aside three hours over the weekend to dedicate to cooking and meal preparation with your senior. Purchase some microwavable containers from your local grocery school. Consult with your doctor or nutritionist to see what kind of needs your senior has. Prepare meals solely based on your loved one’s needs.
6. Listen to and Respect your Loved One’s Desires
When speaking to an elder about issues of care, always show respect and don’t try to impose your own will or ideas on the person. Offer options and present the discussion as a negotiation, because that’s exactly what it should be. To allow the senior to keep doing what he or she is capable of doing.