You never know when you will have an elderly family in your care. At that point, you have to make a major decision: You can place him/her in a home where they’ll get the assistance they require or take it on yourself. The latter option is preferable for most families because of emotional reasons and the fear of not finding a good facility.
However, you need to understand that it’s a huge commitment. When my mom had cancer (though she wasn’t elderly), it was a constant responsibility to meet her needs. Of course, I was willing and loved her dearly, but it didn’t stop the overwhelm. Today, I’m going to discuss some of the things you can do to help an elderly family member that you are responsible for.
Help Them to Make Decisions
Help your elderly family member make life-altering decisions like where they want to live. This one thing is a huge decision for you both. They might not be able to clearly understand all that is involved in the move from their own home to living in a senior care facility. Even if they end up living with you, there will be a transitional period. I recommend finding help with locating the best homes to aid in the decision. For example, a care finder can make it easier to research senior living in Lincoln if you are in this area. You should be able to find these types of services in any major US city.
Give Them Your Time
Old people in pain can often feel like their life has become worthless. They might spend time thinking about their past, and that could result in depression. The best thing you can do is ensure you make time for their emotional needs as well as their physical. Don’t make every conversation about their illness or disability.
At the end of the day, social interaction can help people to live much longer and happier lives. That is one of the main reasons families don’t like the idea of using care homes. They know their relative will deteriorate faster without familiar love and support. Many families find it helpful to hire in-home professional care such as that from a company like https://www.careforfamily.com.au/. This can give the peace of mind of knowing you aren’t alone but allows you to be with your loved one full-time. Additionally, this option will help you to have more time to spend with your loved one.
Once you can find time to dedicate to your elderly or sick family member, find something special to do regularly to ensure your bond stays strong. My mom and I would watch old movies together and do crossword puzzles.
Know Basic First Aid and Life-Saving Techniques
At some point, your elderly relative might require medical assistance. A fall, heart attack, stroke, or other life-threatening emergencies could be fatal if you don’t know what to do. I recommend preparing for these potential situations before your loved one moves in if you have time.
First, it is imperative that you know basic first aid and have the appropriate supplies on hand. Also, contact local training providers and take some CPR classes to ensure you can act fast should something happen. Additionally, learning the protocol for emergency stroke care, choking, dehydration, dementia, and bone breaks is a good idea. Always have your loved one’s physician’s numbers on hand as well.
Make Adjustments to Your Home
You might have to make alterations to your property when caring for an elderly relative. For example, installing rails in your bathroom could mean he or she can use the facilities without assistance. The same goes for stairlifts and other devices that make mobility easier. Your goal is to avoid your loved one feeling like a burden or useless. I know complete remodels aren’t always possible but do your best to accommodate needs as they arise. You might also consider a home cleaning service to help keep things safe and tidy. This will also give you more time with your loved one.
There isn’t anything easy about being a primary caregiver. It brings out many emotions for both you and your loved one. But I believe taking these extra steps to ensure safety and quality of life helps to keep things balanced. Being with your loved one in this season of life is irreplaceable and is a growing process for everyone concerned.