Caring for an older person is a big responsibility, so it can be challenging to provide the best possible care for them. Often, caregivers feel overwhelmed and stressed out. Many start to feel like they’re not doing enough, no matter how hard they try.
If you’re in this situation, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. Many resources and support systems are available to help you provide the best possible care for your elderly loved one. This article will discuss some tips for delivering better care for them to help you feel more confident and capable.
1. Get professional help when needed
Don’t try to do everything yourself. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, ask for help from a professional caregiver or home health aide. These trained professionals can provide the care your loved one needs and give you a much-needed break.
For one, assisted living communities are there to help people like you. They provide seniors with the care they need while also giving caregivers a break. If your elderly loved one struggles to live independently, an assisted living community could be the best option. Try to learn more about assisted living if you think it could be a good fit.
You can also look into other professional care options, like hiring a home health aide. Home health aides are trained to provide primary medical care, and they can also help with cooking, cleaning, and bathing. You can find a home health aide through an agency or by word-of-mouth.
2. Keep them engaged and connected
One of the best things you can do for your elderly loved ones is to keep them engaged and connected. You can do this in several ways, such as talking to them regularly, spending time with them, and involving them in activities they enjoy.
Staying connected will help your loved one feel valued and appreciated, and it can also help keep their mind active and engaged. This is especially important as they age and their cognitive abilities decline.
You can also encourage other family members and friends to stay connected with your loved one. This will help them feel more loved and supported. Talk to your loved ones about ways they can stay involved, such as visiting, calling, or sending cards and letters. If they live far away, consider setting up video calls or sending care packages.
3. Make sure their home is safe
As your loved one ages, you should continuously evaluate their home for safety hazards. This is important to prevent accidents and injuries. Common home safety hazards include loose rugs, cluttered rooms, and stairs.
You can make their home safer by removing hazards, making repairs, and installing safety features like handrails and grab bars. Check every room of their home, including the bathroom and kitchen, to ensure it’s safe.
You should also create an emergency plan in case of a fire, flood, or another disaster. Write down a list of emergency contacts and make sure your loved one knows how to reach them. Practice the plan regularly, so everyone knows what to do in an emergency.
4. Help them stay healthy
People are more susceptible to chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis as they age. You can help your loved ones stay healthy by assisting them to eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and take their medications as prescribed.
Many seniors need help preparing meals, so you may need to plan some meals. Ensure their diet includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. Avoid processed foods, sugary drinks, and unhealthy fats. Some conditions will require special dietary considerations, so talk to their doctor about what they should and shouldn’t eat.
Exercise is also essential for seniors. It can help them stay strong, improve their balance, and reduce their risk of falls. Try to find an activity they enjoy and can do safely. Swimming, walking, and Tai Chi are all excellent options.
It’s also essential to make sure they take their medications as prescribed. This includes prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs, and supplements. Keep track of their medications and help them take them as directed.
5. Promote their independence
Finally, you should promote your loved one’s independence as much as possible. This doesn’t mean you should push them to do things they’re not ready for, but you should encourage them to do things independently.
Helping them stay independent will allow them to age with dignity and respect. It will also help them stay active and engaged. There are many ways you can promote independence, such as allowing them to make their own decisions, helping them with activities of daily living, and giving them opportunities to socialize.
Caring for an elderly loved one can be challenging, but it’s also rewarding. You can ensure they receive the best possible care by following these tips. Always consult with their doctor to ensure you’re taking the best possible care of them.